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Obligations of a collector to their widdow and kids

Over the past few months I have had several experiences – both positive and negative – between dealers and widdows or family members and the “collection.”

In each case the family had no clue what the collector was spending in the hobby, who they were dealing with and what the collection was “worth.”

In the best case, a dealer was introduced to family members by the collector, saying: This is — he is a fair dealer and he should be the one to sell my collection at my death. His checks are good, he knows what I have been buying and will be fair with the settlement.

Clear and to the point.

On the other hand, there have an instance or two of the oposite. The family did not know who the collector has been buying from, had thrown out papers relating to purchases, catalogs with notes about purchase prices in them, and other helpful paperwork. The family was not familiar with the material being collected, or even if all had been uncovered from various hiding places. Finally, whatever price was offered, they were expecting more. They ahs know idea of various commission rates presented by various companies.

Duh. Can’t do right by any of that.

So, information is key. Educate your heirs on your stuff and who should handle it at your passing. It will ease the pain all around.

George

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