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Dividing Jewelry in an Estate

Posted on August 26, 2020

Inner Beauty

Strategies for keeping the peace in your family

Jewelry and relationships are intertwined. Giving and receiving jewelry is one of the ways we express our deepest feelings to those we give them to. When a member of the family passes, and siblings are left behind to divide precious family heirlooms, emotions are connected to the decisions made.

  1. Realize that it’s not just amount the money – Family possessions can bring up feelings when a particular important piece goes to one family member and not another. Often times, a family member might want a piece of jewelry for sentimental reasons, and this can become very difficult when a decision cannot be agreed upon.
  2. Have a conversation now- In an ideal situation, a conversation would be had in the present. When a loved one passes away, feelings are running high and it becomes difficult to have discussions about who wants what. Have a conversation now to express your intentions. Inviting loved ones over to talk about your collection gives you the opportunity to tell the recipient the stories and history behind the jewelry they’ve chosen or have been gifted.
  3. Know what the heirloom pieces are worth – Because gems and precious metals can fluctuate in value, consider having the jewelry appraised. With a written appraisal, you and your heirs will know what each piece is worth and you can start a conversation on a level playing field. Regardless of what you plan to do with the inherited jewelry, one of your first priorities should be to determine its value, in part so you can insure it for the proper amount, if necessary.
  4. Put it in writing –To some, heirloom pieces represent a financial gift. To others, it brings special memories. Both are meaningful, and thus it is crucial to have everything documented. An appraisal with photographs and detailed descriptions will prevent any misunderstandings or issues that surround inheritance. The desire to have a fair equitable division of a jewelry inheritance is doable. With open communication and clear documentation, it is possible to maintain harmony within your family.
  5. Trust your jeweler! – You don’t know what you don’t know. It can be overwhelming to know where to start when planning your legacy. Our experienced team at Private Jewelers will help you navigate the process by determining which options best suit your needs.

One of the joys of life is being able to pass along heirlooms to family members. A little pre-planning can help keep your family at peace and treasured jewels full of history alive for generations to come.

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