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Dividing your jewelry without dividing your family

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Estate Planning

You’ve always had a superior taste, especially when it came to your jewelry, and you’ve amassed a nice collection of pieces over the years. 

Yet, how do you divide things up in your estate plan in a way that’s fair to your children? No two pieces are alike, and there are some significant differences in the emotional and literal value of some of them. 

Every family situation (like every family) is unique 

There’s no perfect solution for every family, but there are a few different things you need to consider

  • Have you had the major pieces appraised? Without knowing their actual worth, it’s hard to balance out your bequests so that no heir feels cheated.
  • Have you asked what pieces each of the children wants the most? If you get lucky, your children will each have a different “number one” preference. That would make it easy to assign each their favorite item. You can also use lesser-valued pieces to balance things out if one heir gets a much more valuable piece than the others.
  • Would you consider splitting up a set? Perhaps you have an amazing pair of diamond earrings that are very valuable and sentimental – and you have one son and one daughter. It may feel wrong to automatically give your daughter the earrings. Instead, you could direct that the set be split and gift each child with a ring, tie pin or pendant (their choice) with one of the diamonds.
  • Do you know if the jewelry is even wanted? Styles and tastes change over time. Ask your children to be honest about the pieces you’re thinking of leaving them. If something isn’t their style, it may be better to have the pieces sold and the money put into the estate. 

Ultimately, the only way you can keep this kind of issue from dividing your family after you’re gone is to talk with your children about their feelings, your feelings and your decisions as you make your estate plans.