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People should share wishes with relatives on heirlooms, wills

What would a person do with more than 700 dolls that they inherited from a relative? Many people who aren't sure what their relative intended for them to do would probably just have them appraised and sell them. However, if this relative was deeply emotional about their collection, whether it is a doll collection or a car collection, the person or people who inherit the collection would probably try their best to maintain the collection.

Wills may not only help a person allocate their assets to their loved ones after they die, but it can help their loved ones understand the importance of these items and help guide them in decisions of what happens to these assets. One woman in another state had a struggle with her mother's assets, particularly her doll collection, after her mother passed away.

A definite explanation in her mother's will may have been able to help her daughter understand the importance of that collection and what should happen to those dolls. Sometimes people with extensive wishes, aren't clear about those wishes.

For people who have large collections or highly sentimental assets, it might be wise to discuss those assets specifically with an estate planning attorney to help ensure a person's wishes are followed regarding those assets after they pass away.

Estate planning doesn't just help people decide what should happen with their assets, but it can help limit the impact taxes might have on the estate and make sure that relatives understand their loved one's wishes.

Source: The New York Times, "The 700-Doll Question," Jo Maeder, May 8, 2013

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