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Inherited Items After A Passing? Here’s What To Do Next

If you’ve inherited a loved one’s items after they passed, or are responsible for distributing the items, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to get the collection valued.

There are many legal requirements for estate settlements, tax purposes and equitable distribution among heirs, so it can be difficult to know what steps to take to ensure everything is done properly.

Here are the steps you should take to get a fair and accurate valuation for your inherited items and ensure you’re taking all of the necessary legal and financial steps.

paperwork and steps following a death

Steps To Get Valuation of Inherited Items

  1. Make a list and categorize all your inherited items. Make sure to include descriptions of the items, including condition and any known history. Group items into categories such as collectibles, jewelry, art, antiques, memorabilia and personal items.
  2. Consult with estate lawyers to ensure an executor is in place so all items are properly distributed to heirs and/or donated based on the deceased’s wishes.
  3. Discuss implications of the sale of inherited items with a tax professional so that you’re aware of any possible tax burdens that may come from reselling them. Inherited items are generally taxed if they are sold for more than their value when you inherit them. This is why it’s important to know their value at the time of inheritance and have proper documentation of all of your appraisals.
  4. Photograph items that are to be evaluated. Be sure photos are clear and show all of the items’ features and potential flaws.
  5. Identify high-value items. If you’re aware of any items that are especially rare or valuable, make a note of that and gather any important background information you have about the items.
  6. DO NOT clean the items. Cleaning collectibles can have a detrimental effect on their condition and resale price.

collection of items to evaluate after a death

  1. Research item categories and evaluate your items’ value. You can use specialized databases or resale sites such as ebay to get an approximate resale value for your items. Note that these values will vary greatly depending on historical context, condition and more.
  2. Research estate evaluation companies and make sure the company is certified by a professional organization. Jack Hunt Gold & Silver is a member of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), American Numismatic Association (ANA), and several other national and regional industry organizations.
  3. Bring your collection to a reputable company for an evaluation and appraisal. Jack Hunt offers no-obligation evaluations, taking the guesswork and time out of evaluating your items without forcing you to commit to selling or consigning.
  4. Maintain detailed descriptions of your items, their appraised value, the method used to appraise them and the appraiser’s credentials. Keep your records safe and accessible for any potential future disputes.
  5. Consider selling off your collection to an estate evaluation company. If you decide to liquidate, Jack Hunt can save you time and stress dealing with buyers and consigners by purchasing your collection all at once and giving you a fair value for your items.
  6. For any items you decide to keep, consult with an insurance agent to ensure you’re getting adequate coverage that covers the full value of your items.

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