What do you do to protect the family treasures? No matter if they are worth a few hundred, a few thousand or much, much more, or if they are just personal family treasures – you have to protect them.
There are many stories about family treasures gone missing!! Why? There are many reasons, but a very common one is that they were hidden and now can not be found.
We see news stories about the item bought in a garage sale, at an auction, from a storage locker, and on and on. You do not want your family treasure to end up there.
Do you know a story where someone hid something on purpose and then could not find it? I sure have. Money, credit cards, keys, jewelry, teeth, important papers?
We are all familiar with stories of our parents or grandparents, even ourselves, putting money in the cookie jar or in a mattress.
People have hidden treasures in books and magazines, purses or clothes pockets hanging in a closet, a secret cubby hole, buried in the yard, underneath the shed, rolled up in old socks, somewhere in the attic, maybe in a frozen water bottle in the freezer – or some frozen item. I have heard of freezing a diamond ring in a pound of ground beef, and we can see this can go on and on. What’s your story for us?
It is also a good idea to get items of interest appraised now. Take old books, china, paintings, chairs, antiques, jewelry, coins, artifacts, collectibles, out and have them looked at. You can also have someone do an internet search for information on the item(s).
A question I have to ask is ‘How many items have been thrown out by the person responsible for cleaning out the home?’ Did you cook that ground beef or did you think it suspect? No matter a treasure may be gone forever and the rightful heirs will never see or benefit from them.
This question also poses many issues for the estate trustee who may be held responsible for them. The estate trustee or executor is responsible for securing the home and contents when someone passes on, then dealing with the distribution to heirs, liquidation or disposal of contents in the home, the cottage, the business. If the proper process is not followed they could be held financially liable.
The problem stems from a lack of communication and improper storage of items. So make sure there is communication about valuable items. Let your heirs know where items are, include notes with your will or let the estate trustee know.
Talk to your parents and grandparents about these issues and concerns and help them make good decisions because you do not want your ‘hidden treasures gone forever’.Back To Top
Paul Lambe is a Professional Executor/Estate Trustee/Administrator