Have you had elegant and high-end antique jewelry passed down to you from your grandparents, parents, or even your friends?
Or are you thinking of doing this for your loved ones when you pass away? Perhaps you have a luxurious jewelry collection that you’d love to pass down to your children or goddaughters, and you want to make sure that they will actually get them after your demise.
So, with this in mind, you may be thinking of ways that you would potentially pass the jewelry down to them without any concerns. In other words, should your jewelry be incorporated into your estate planning matters?
Well, keep reading to learn more about the jewelry being part of your estate.
Is jewelry part of an estate?
Yes, jewelry is part of an estate, which means that during the administration of an estate, the listed jewelry, whether as part of the assets left behind or listed separately, could have one specified recipient.
Like the rest of the assets like homes and land, jewelry is an important part of an estate, albeit a sentimental one, which means that it has to be distributed to the named legal heirs to the estate, alongside the rest of the belongings/ assets under probate.
So, after the reading of the will, the executor would have to inventory and then gather all the assets for that estate, then these assets would have to be appraised – this is done to the jewelry too. After the appraisal is complete, a bank account for the estate would be opened by the executor, and a tax ID obtained.
Once this is done, the different accounts of the deceased would be transferred to the estate bank account.
Note, however, that this approach is not always followed, and there are many cases where the relatives use the keys given to them to access the items they note were promised to them by the deceased, especially when the pieces of jewelry have some sentimental value.
With this in mind, it is recommended that the will is read out soon after the funeral.
Tips for Passing down jewelry
1.Include all your assets in the will
If you wish to pass down you’re fine pieces of jewelry to your loved ones after your demise, you should consider adding them to your will.
Most people underestimate the value of their jewelry, which often makes it harder for loved ones to share such sentimental pieces without getting into each other’s way.
Some of your relatives may assume that they are more deserving of some jewelry pieces than others, and this would be a big reason for contention – it’s often the little things.
2.Keep the will with a lawyer, and appoint someone you trust as the executor of your estate
To ensure due process and for your assets to be divided appropriately or as you’d like, get things done professionally, and make sure that all the important assets are named in the will. A professional and people you trust will also make sure that the appraisal is done correctly.
3.Clarify some things
In some cases, you may have spoken to one of your relatives about some pieces of jewelry among other assets, and they may have told you that they are not interested in whatever you are talking about and that someone else can have it because they would be much more appreciative.
This has to be communicated in the will and their reasons given – this is essential where one of your grandchildren would later claim that their mom/dad deserved that asset even when they didn’t really want it.
This avoids disputes and makes estate planning a lot easier.
Also, think about the kinds of jewelry that your female relatives would like and what the males would like if you think that there might be some issues raised around the division of the assets.
4.Make it meaningful
When passing down specific, sentimental things, you may want to make them more meaningful.
You could do this by writing brief notes or letters to explain your emotional ties to that piece of jewelry.
Incorporate photos too. Such small gestures go a long way in letting the recipient know just how important the piece of jewelry is to you and to your family history.
5.Don’t forget the paperwork
If your assets and jewelry pieces were appraised recently, keep the paperwork and hand them over along with the jewelry. If this is not possible, you could ask them to get the piece appraised because it could be worth more than they think.
you don’t want your children to have hard feelings about what jewelry they get. So, create a balance with the help of an appraisal to show them both that they are getting valuable pieces and that they are both valued.
How to leave jewelry in a will?
In addition to the paperwork and making the division equitable, you should always spell out who gets what. And for jewelry that you are not ready to part with, you could leave them instructions for how to deal with such pieces. Such steps go a long way in preventing disputes in the future.
Families fight all the time, and even after you pass away, your kids will still fight over pretty much everything.
To avoid disputes, especially when it comes to things that hold a great deal of value sentimentally, you may want to include your valuable jewelry in the will.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.