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Sunday, October 13, 2019

A family's quest to find the right home for late dad's record collection

As many executors will attest, it's not easy to clean out someone else's home and distribute that person's possessions. It can be a minefield, when you consider that executors sometimes inadvertently ruffle the feathers of family members with sentimental attachment to tangible items, and can incur personal liability if items are sold too cheaply. Not to mention that beneficiaries are often pushing executors to distribute the estate quickly.

Collections - which may range from hockey cards to Royal Doulton figurines - can be especially challenging. This is because someone took the time and effort to collect items they were passionate about, and it seems a shame to take that time and effort lightly. Most of the time, the few top-rated or most valuable items from a collection are sold, and the others are either claimed by family members, donated, or thrown away.

Wouldn't it be great if all of the items in a collection could be kept together and sold as a single lot? Surely the monetary value would be higher. The love and care poured into it by the original collector could be appreciated and continued by a new owner. But that's not always possible.

These days, social media may make it easier for executors to find and reach potential buyers of a collection. For example, Murray Deal of Nova Scotia spent 60 years collecting country music records. When Mr. Deal passed away, he had about 8,000 records. His daughter, Amanda Jackson, has to dispose of the records in order to wrap up her father's estate. She is refusing to break up the collection and is looking for a buyer who will take the whole lot. To read more about this story from CBC News, click here.

When trying to dispose of any collection, executors might have to get creative. Garage sales are great, but may not be the only way, or even the best way, of connecting with the right kind of buyers. Depending on the subject matter of the collection, there could be a museum, local historical society, or cultural society that would be interested in it. Facebook and Instagram are packed with groups that are interested in all sorts of things from dolls to antique cars. Music schools might want musical instruments. And so on. Finding these buyers takes more time and effort than simply holding a garage sale, but it could well be worth it.

Executors, if you're tasked with selling a collection of items from an estate, take advantage of internet resources to ensure you know the real value of the items, and to find the best buyer you can.

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