July 1st, 2013

Make sure your coins end up in the right hands

By MintState

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance who has a shared passion for collecting. Over the years, he amassed quite a bounty of gold coins. Though he never intended to sell the collection, my friend was confronted with a dilemma after being hit with a health scare. Though he turned out fine, this gentleman was left to do some soul searching, particularly about estate planning and who he would receive his collection if something had happened.

Initially, he was confounded by the situation, as no one came to mind as a fit to carry on his flame for collecting, a family tradition that started with his father decades earlier. With that quandary in mind, here are a few things you should consider before choosing the person to care for your collection when you’re deposited into that big piggy bank in the sky. Though never an easy question, the sooner you make a decision, the better you will feel about your collection being in the right hands for the long haul.

Consider their involvement – Are coins something they’ve had a shared passion for – or at least did at one time? Or would they feel clueless concerning the hobby? The last thing you want is to pass a treasured collection to someone who would feel indifferent about the collection or confused about what to do. The less interest they take, the more likely they are to fit the following description . . .

More interested in cash than collecting – It’s inevitable. Not every heir will share your love for collecting. But if the hope is that your coins will stay in the family, make sure you don’t leave the collection to someone who’d be solely interested in cashing out. I’ve seen it before. A friend from days gone-by inherited a silver dollar assemblage when his father passed, a collection that took decades to build. Within months of taking possession, the coins had been pawned off for a quick buck.

Make sure heirs understand wishes – If you want to keep your collection around so future generations can enjoy the fruits of your labor, make sure the recipient understands your intentions. Even if they don’t embrace the hobby, the hope would be that they won’t simply shelve the collection in a dingy basement. If anything, the collection could be a reminder for grandkids and other future family members to know a little about your life.

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