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Jewelry management for estate planning purposes

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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This is very important to do and an incredibly valuable topic for all jewelry collectors. Thank you for starting this thread @Tonks.

I have receipts for my big purchases and GIA certs etc. For the smaller diamond purchases not sure I have that info but everything is going to my sister and my two nieces and they are smart girls and will not do anything foolhardy. If my nieces do not want to keep (some or all of) my pieces they will get appraisals for the pieces on the pieces that are missing them. And I do plan to give much of my jewelry to them while I am still alive.

All my jewelry is in my safes with the important documents.

Not every piece has papers and for those pieces no, I do not plan on getting them appraised. If the girls don't want them they can get it appraised and decide what they want to do with my jewelry.
All my pieces over 5K do have appraisals and the bigger ticketed items do have certs.

Our will is also in our safe and copies with our estate attorneys. Everything is spelled out clearly.

Hopefully we have all bases covered as best as we can.
 

missy

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This does, btw, explain a ton about how you can find great deals at estate sales. If people truly don’t know what they have, they don’t know.
Just to play devil's advocate (and I am 100% with you re having things organized and categorized and clearly labeled) the heirs can get items appraised and IMO anyone who just places items (especially jewelry IMO) for an estate sale without doing their due diligence is being foolish and short sighted.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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As far as my parents go re their jewelry my mother really doesn't have much jewelry at all.

Her 2 most valuable pieces were her Black Opal ring from Cartier and her Engagement ring. My parents gave me her Cartier ring years ago so I could enjoy it now since she had stopped wearing it many years before that. My sister is getting her engagement ring as it is only fair. That really is it as far as valuable jewelry pieces go.

Yes she has other pieces but these were/are her 2 main pieces. I am quite confident my sister and I will not fight over any item. I guess we are lucky that way. We learned early on that things are just things and relationships are the valuable assets one must protect with all they have. So yeah I am not concerned at all. I know we are fortunate in that respect and many people cannot say the same. It is always best to protect one's assets with as much info as one can and clearly spell out who gets what.

I hope and pray my parents live a long time as I want nothing from their estate. All I want is for them to live a happy healthy long life.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I'm just gonna let 'em fight for it. :lol:
:lol:



In fact, thinking more about this topic when my grandfather died he had no will. It was shocking because he was a CPA and very savvy about financial planning. His downfall was he refused to acknowledge he was going to die. Very sad situation and near the end it was just too late. But my uncle (mom's brother) and my mom had no disagreements about the estate and everything was done quite peacefully and equitably. Though they did lose a good amount of money due to the fact he had no will.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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My parents are very worried about how inheritances can damage relationships, so they have have decided to split all their money perfectly evenly been my sister and me. Then we are to sell all their material goods at an estate sale or via auction. If we want a particular thing, we have to 'buy' it and that amount is deducted from our share of the monetary inheritance and we split whatever profit is made after that. That way we can get what we want without any issues about one of us getting more. I'm pretty sure this will work just fine because my sister is not sentimental about objects and I can't really picture us wanting the same things. You never know, of course!

My dad has photographed each significant object (watches, jewellery, cars) and created a written inventory along with a suggested reserve price for each item. If something is best sold through a particular place or if I should consult a particular organization to get pricing information, that is noted as well. He suggests we hold off on selling anything until we can do it logically and not in the midst of grief, which seems like a good idea to me.

My parents are not sentimental about stuff either, so they have no preferences regarding who gets what.

I personally have no instructions or even a will at this point. It's not urgent because the chance of my husband and I both dying at this point in our lives is so slim, and I don't think anyone is waiting in the wings for anything anyway. I'm guessing most of our money would go toward paying for our pets to live out potentially very long lives, and they have no interest in jewellery :)
Haha I know, right? Isn't that a kicker that our direct heirs (our animals) have zero interest in jewelry. When she was alive, my sweet Francesca, she enjoyed my bling. But she was the only one of the kitties who did. May she RIP.

On a more serious note I am concerned about our cats and who will take them. My sister promised but it was under duress as she has lots of animals of her own and their house is full. And I just don't know if my BIL will go for that. He is very allergic to the animals they do have. My parents are too old and well let's just say the number of animals they already care for is way too much. That is a topic for another thread another day.

So we are thinking about what we can do. I know @PintoBean in the past said she would take them. Do you remember that PB? Haha I won't hold you to it but we are actively thinking what we are going to do. I don't want to designate an animal rescue to take them as I shudder if they have to be separated or if the animal rescue is not even in existence at the time we die. Yeah that is a worry I have. Where our animals will be safe and loved when we are gone.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Ok so this is a repost from the other thread but I did my filing recently and it took a few weekends but I finally sorted all my receipts and matched to the gem certs etc and they are finally all nicely filed.

Next step is to take pics of the items, file those pics in the file with the certs and then do up an inventory and it’s so daunting I’ve not started yet... but I will. I cannot imagine my husband (or kids) having to sort through the previous messy stack of stuff and figured that I’ll turn in my grave (ok likely cremated so I will raise a puff of dust!) if some of my precious colored stones are sold for pittance when I’m gone.

So from this...
8BCBEE52-A167-45DB-B858-94FCD7ED4E8A.jpeg

To this!
ABF14BE6-D445-44C6-B443-F668CB83CF50.jpeg

So what I finally imagine I would like to have for each item in the file:
- the receipt/s (could be one for the stone and then separately for the setting, etc) (done)
- the cert/s (done)
- a picture of the item
- a serial number on the picture pointing to the main inventory
- either an extract from the inventory or to be handwritten on the pic various details re: the item e.g. cert, place of purchase, price, etc

And then the inventory is to be maintained in a spreadsheet with different details of the items along with value etc. And for each file what is filed inside should have an overview inventory printed and filed on the first page of each file. So both hard copy and soft copy in case either one is gone.

Is this doable? I have a few hundred items so it sounds like a lot of work but it’s something that I really think needs to be done.

Oh, and to get a photo printer so that I can print the pics at home and avoid providing details to the photo shop.
That is a very impressive system @icy_jade. Color me (haha color) impressed! :appl:
 

Austina

Ideal_Rock
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Having just the one son, everything is going to him. He’s engaged to a lovely girl, so she knows it’s all coming to her.
 

kipari

Ideal_Rock
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Stupid question but for people who have a son and a daughter (ie only two kids, and one of each sex), how do you decide how to split the bling stash?

I’m sort of presuming that my son isn’t interested anyway and maybe just leaving him one or two items as momento but is that a right assumption?

He’s so young (6 yo) so right now he doesn’t care.
This is hitting close to home, since DH has two brothers and one sister, who is very vocal about hating jewelry.

My mil otoh is very vocal about leaving everything to her only daughter. Which is her prerogative of course, but we all have children now and this means that the majority of grandchildren will not have any pieces from their paternal grandparents as keepsakes.

She has already given her daughter a lot of nice pieces from her mother that SIL doesn't care for or wear.

When you don't have grandchildren yet it's hard to imagine, but when that generation is already born I find it hard and a bit unfair not to take them into account at all.


I'll personally try to see if there are any pieces that my children express interest in and will try to gift accordingly.

I'll be clear about monetary value and will ensure everyone gets the same value and will try to give as much as I can while still alive.

The pieces my mom already gave me are wonderful keepsakes.

I'll probably try to give everyone meaningful pieces: I got a jewelry item for each child, so logically I'd offer each child the item I got for their birth first if they like it.

Maybe I'd offer my engagement ring or center stone to my only son (IF it's time just future fiancee's taste), assuming the girls will get an engagement ring from their future partner...if not - well we'll adjust the plan.

I just think it's important to communicate about it.
If there's dissent about items I guess I'll will the stuff (making sure the monetary value is always equal) and then I'm out of that discussion anyways :lol:
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
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3,605
I’m sort of presuming that my son isn’t interested anyway and maybe just leaving him one or two items as momento but is that a right assumption?

He’s so young (6 yo) so right now he doesn’t care.
Ok so maybe I’m wrong. I asked both this weekend if they were interested in mummy’s treasures and what their favorites are and they both expressed their interest. Taking into consideration one is 6 and the other is 4.5 yo, and certainly expecting their preferences to change over time but I suppose leaving all my jewelry things to my daughter (except for the diamond rings for my son to propose to some lucky girl with) isn’t such a good idea. Mind you, I was expecting to compensate him with other non-jewelry stuff but I think letting him have a choice is a good idea.


My parents are very worried about how inheritances can damage relationships, so they have have decided to split all their money perfectly evenly been my sister and me. Then we are to sell all their material goods at an estate sale or via auction. If we want a particular thing, we have to 'buy' it and that amount is deducted from our share of the monetary inheritance and we split whatever profit is made after that. That way we can get what we want without any issues about one of us getting more.
That’s certainly one possibility and thanks for sharing


Just to play devil's advocate (and I am 100% with you re having things organized and categorized and clearly labeled) the heirs can get items appraised and IMO anyone who just places items (especially jewelry IMO) for an estate sale without doing their due diligence is being foolish and short sighted.
Oh that’s probably how I snagged that pair of award winning designer earrings from a preloved site at a fraction of their retail price... But I do really love them and I hope that makes their previous owner feel better...


When you don't have grandchildren yet it's hard to imagine, but when that generation is already born I find it hard and a bit unfair not to take them into account at all.

I'll personally try to see if there are any pieces that my children express interest in and will try to gift accordingly.

I'll be clear about monetary value and will ensure everyone gets the same value and will try to give as much as I can while still alive.
Ok I see your point and it makes sense. Hahah a bit hard to imagine grandkids when my kids are so young now but yes it makes sense


That is a very impressive system @icy_jade. Color me (haha color) impressed! :appl:
Hahahah colorful isn’t it! I even got spares so that I can use the same type of folders when I get more stuff. Right now blue is for pearls and green is for jadeite. And the other colors for my CS collection. I fully expect to re-file/sort once I’ve catalogued them but for now at least looking for certs is much easier than before.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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7,516
Interesting thread.

My wife and I just had our living trust and wills and health directives updated. My daughter is coming to visit us a few days after the election in November.

She, my son and his wife will all sit down with the jewelry and I am giving my son and daughter each a turn to go round the table and pick a piece. They will get to do so until the selection of pieces wanted is complete, not only for my son's wife, but for the children of each couple.

When we are done with the jewelry, we will go on to some of our art treasures, (mostly prints with a few originals of lesser artists,) and the furniture made by my father-in-law from wood cut and hewn from trees on the original family farm. Highlights are lamps, a bar and an incredible grandfather's clock.

All will be then put in the wills and anything not specifically chosen can be sold or chosen when we are gone.

I am lucky in that my son and daughter both exposed their true nature during the aftermath of my mother's demise. My daughter went to one of her cousins and told her than although mom had left this item to her, she knew that it was something very precious to her cousin and that she wanted her cousin to have it.

My son and his wife went to my brother's wife and said that he knew a large and valuable planter had been promised to him, but both he and his wife thought it would be perfect for my brother's wife's yard. They in turn had an wonderful Japanese wall hanging that they thought would look perfect at the top of the stairs in my son's home, where it hangs today. It is beautiful, and it is perfect hanging there.

The only discordant thing was when one of the first arrivals at the estate sale rushed into the back yard and bought every single one of my mom's bird feeders, which I had intended to buy as soon as the sale opened so I would not take the value of them out of the estate my brother and sister and I would be sharing. Dang her hide!

Wink
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,283
^ my system is very similar, using archive-quality plastic sleeve with photo in front and all supporting info (invoices, lab reports) behind, one sleeve for each jewelry item -- the stack of plastic sleeves all in a container box, with a summary sheet on top -- and the box is explicitly referenced in my estate documents.
This is basically my plan, except I will use page protectors to put in the info/photo page with receipt and grading report, if applicable. I will just have tabs separating rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and watches.

Stupid question but for people who have a son and a daughter (ie only two kids, and one of each sex), how do you decide how to split the bling stash?

I’m sort of presuming that my son isn’t interested anyway and maybe just leaving him one or two items as momento but is that a right assumption?

He’s so young (6 yo) so right now he doesn’t care.
I'd advise waiting to see if either of your children have daughters. If your son only has boys or no children, I'd maybe just save a couple of things for his wife. Or you might save a diamond ring for him to use for an engagement ring if you have a spare. I think if you try to designate things to each child while they are so young, you'll definitely have to redo it later. I currently have two daughters and two granddaughters, and they all have expressed interest in certain pieces. But I am not promising things to the granddaughters yet since the other daughter may have girls, also. I do have one major diamond ring for each daughter designated, as well as one diamond pendant for each one. The rest I am waiting to assign once I know the total number!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,283
Interesting thread.

My wife and I just had our living trust and wills and health directives updated. My daughter is coming to visit us a few days after the election in November.

She, my son and his wife will all sit down with the jewelry and I am giving my son and daughter each a turn to go round the table and pick a piece. They will get to do so until the selection of pieces wanted is complete, not only for my son's wife, but for the children of each couple.

When we are done with the jewelry, we will go on to some of our art treasures, (mostly prints with a few originals of lesser artists,) and the furniture made by my father-in-law from wood cut and hewn from trees on the original family farm. Highlights are lamps, a bar and an incredible grandfather's clock.

All will be then put in the wills and anything not specifically chosen can be sold or chosen when we are gone.

I am lucky in that my son and daughter both exposed their true nature during the aftermath of my mother's demise. My daughter went to one of her cousins and told her than although mom had left this item to her, she knew that it was something very precious to her cousin and that she wanted her cousin to have it.

My son and his wife went to my brother's wife and said that he knew a large and valuable planter had been promised to him, but both he and his wife thought it would be perfect for my brother's wife's yard. They in turn had an wonderful Japanese wall hanging that they thought would look perfect at the top of the stairs in my son's home, where it hangs today. It is beautiful, and it is perfect hanging there.

The only discordant thing was when one of the first arrivals at the estate sale rushed into the back yard and bought every single one of my mom's bird feeders, which I had intended to buy as soon as the sale opened so I would not take the value of them out of the estate my brother and sister and I would be sharing. Dang her hide!

Wink
My husband's father died last November and they moved their mother closer to two of her children. So they had the task of cleaning out a home of about 60 years and all the belongings. They did basically the same thing you did with your children, but in this case it was after the death of their father. Interestingly, he also had a woodworking hobby (mainly antique reproduction furniture), and those were heirlooms all the children wanted. So they drew straws as to who would go first, and then they took turns choosing items. Spouses weren't present, but my husband and I made our list of priorities together ahead of time. It went perfectly. They will do the same thing when their mother dies for the remaining home and personal items. I highly recommend that procedure.

We will ask our children to do the same regarding our belongings, but I will have my main jewelry pieces already designated so there won't be any disappointment later on. My main point in the notebook with information on all the jewelry items is to provide them information regarding approximate value, where they could have something sized or appraised for insurance, as well as where to sell something if they decide not to keep it.
 

MelMc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 16, 2018
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I created a form where I can describe each piece and include a photo. All documentation is stapled to this paper. I had two goals, to pass down the stories of any piece that had one (so that they know which are family pieces and which new) and to lay out what each is made of. The next generation isn't particularly interested in the details and wouldn't even think that there might be different white stones or white metals. Don't want my loved ones going on Antiques Roadshow with their "genuine diamond and platinum" ring to find out it's a white topaz in silver.;)2
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
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When my Mom died, I was her executor. She was not wealthy but had some cherished jewelry that she wore all the time and had accumulated over a long life and after starting from absolutely nothing. She gave away one or two things before her death but there was a lot to sort through after. My sibs were a little uneasy when I took it all and flew home to the opposite coast. Almost immediately, I took meticulous macro photos of each item (with a mm rule) and shared them in a Google Drive folder. I asked them to review with their spouse and kids and prioritize for eventual sequential "choosing." (I think A-B-C-C-B-A-A-B-C-C-B-A, etc., starting with the oldest child, which I am not.) I had the half-dozen nicer things formally appraised and included photos of the appraisals in the virtual folder since I am more knowledgeable about jewelry than the others (waste of $ but I needed them to know).

Once I did that, everyone relaxed to the point that we are having a hard time getting together to actually divide it up. It just sits in a safe-deposit box. We can't wait to see each other but no one wants to go through the process. Knowing that it is safe, accounted for, and everyone will get a fair "crack" at it has been a comfort, I think.

My Dad made it easy. When he died (before my Mom), he had nothing! Casio watch and his wedding band.
 

GliderPoss

Ideal_Rock
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Stupid question but for people who have a son and a daughter (ie only two kids, and one of each sex), how do you decide how to split the bling stash?

I’m sort of presuming that my son isn’t interested anyway and maybe just leaving him one or two items as momento but is that a right assumption?

He’s so young (6 yo) so right now he doesn’t care.
Yeah I think it's fair to give some to sons with the understanding it goes to their wives or daughters to be passed on. 8-)
 

Modified Brilliant

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I specialize in estate appraisal for all purposes from liquidation to equitable distribution among family members. Each case is different but I can say that being organized with your sales receipts is most important because at least the info should be accurate from the original seller. A seller should at least be accurate with a good description and gemstone weights, even if the grading is inaccurate. Also check behind small jewelry box pads and inside those little jewelry purses. Oftentimes jewelry is hidden or pinned to something. I once found a valuable diamond brooch behind a pad, not on it.
When the time comes for estate planning, a nicely done spreadsheet will be a huge help and time saver. It's a worthwhile project and will cut down on appraiser's fees and time. And one other note, never assume that fine jewelry WON'T be mixed in with costume jewelry. Check each individual item. Photos are a must!
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,490
I seriously pared down my jewelry collection a while back and don't have many super high value items anyway, but I could definitely see taking a photo of each piece and attaching the cert, receipt, description or whatever. Good idea.
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
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Ok so maybe I’m wrong. I asked both this weekend if they were interested in mummy’s treasures and what their favorites are and they both expressed their interest. Taking into consideration one is 6 and the other is 4.5 yo, and certainly expecting their preferences to change over time but I suppose leaving all my jewelry things to my daughter (except for the diamond rings for my son to propose to some lucky girl with) isn’t such a good idea. Mind you, I was expecting to compensate him with other non-jewelry stuff but I think letting him have a choice is a good idea.
I don't know if it's typical but the main things I've heard people complain about when their parents pass are: (1) Having to clear out lots and lots and lots of stuff (like when the parents lived in the same house for fifty years and never got rid of anything). (2) Inheriting specific things that they don't want but feel guilty getting rid of.

I tend to clear out things I don't use and will probably just leave it to my kids to sell or divide what's left.
 
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