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Monday, July 17, 2017

An heir's guide to furniture, china, glassware, art and more

Executors who are preparing estate inventories often find household items the hardest to valuate. This is especially true of collections of items such as china, silver, books, coins, or stamps that you know the deceased spent thousands of dollars to purchase. My clients have told me time and again that household items that they expected would be valuable turn out to have no value or very little.

This is often a tough situation for executors and family members because there is a sentimental value to some items. The wedding china that your Mom picked out so carefully and lovingly 60 years ago may seem as if it should be priceless, but to the rest of the world, it's not.

I've found a good article at that talks about how to place a value on some of the items our parents collected and that we are now dealing with in their estates. The article gets pretty specific about individual manufacturers' names and useful websites, so it's definitely worth a look. Click here to see the article.

By the way, this site has other good articles on similar topics that executors and beneficiaries alike might find useful.

If I could add one tip that applies to my fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in dealing with estate collections, it would be to check with the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University. They might be interested in books, pamphlets, photographs, slides, magazines, videos, catalogs, souvenir programs, menus from old restaurants, posters, maps, dairies, or correspondence, as long as those items have something to add to the history of our province. You won't get money for them, but they'll have found a home.

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