How Do You Divide Jewelry in an Estate?

naperville estate planning lawyerRings, necklaces, bracelets, and other types of jewelry often have great sentimental value as well as significant financial value. Determining how to address jewelry in your estate plan can sometimes be overwhelming. Should you leave all the jewelry to one individual or split jewelry up between your loved ones? Do you need to have the pieces appraised before assigning them to heirs through your will? Can children, grandchildren, and other loved ones figure out how to divide jewelry on their own after your passing?

Whether it is your high school class ring, the diamond necklace you received on your 50th birthday, your wedding rings, your grandmother’s pearl necklace, or other special jewelry, it is important to address these items in your estate plans.

Addressing Jewelry in Your Illinois Estate Plan

When deciding how to address jewelry in your estate plan, the first step is to take an inventory of what you own. This may also be a good time to declutter your jewelry collection and donate or sell any items you no longer want. Make a list of the items you own and evaluate your options piece by piece. Locate any jewelry-related documents like GIA reports, AGS reports, receipts, and appraisals.

Some people decide to bequeath jewelry to loved ones. Others sell their jewelry and divide the proceeds among heirs. Estate plans may also direct the executor to get jewelry appraised and evenly divide the jewelry or the profits from the sale of the jewelry to heirs. Exactly how you address jewelry is up to you.

Specificity Can Prevent Family Arguments and Hurt Feelings

Jewelry has great significance in modern culture. Whatever you decide to do with your jewelry, make sure to state your wishes in your will specifically. When individuals fail to address jewelry clearly, it can lead to confusion, arguments, and hurt feelings. Family members, friends, and other loved ones may end up arguing about who gets what. People may feel left out and disappointed that certain items were not bequeathed to them.

Discuss Your Plans With Your Loved Ones

Understandably, it can be very uncomfortable to discuss estate planning issues with your family and friends. You may wish to avoid the topic altogether. However, it is important to sit down with intended beneficiaries and communicate your wishes to them. This can prevent conflict in the future and help ensure your wishes are followed.  

Contact a Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer

Jewelry is just one factor in your estate plans. At the Gierach Law Firm, we know that deciding what to do with your property can be complicated and confusing. Our Naperville estate planning attorneys can provide the assistance and legal guidance you need. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation to learn more.



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Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.

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