Inheritance - Appraising Your Coin Collection

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Copyright 2015 by Kevin Flynn, All Rights Reserved

Most people who inherit coins from a family member, relative, or friend have no idea what is in the collection, what they are worth, or how to sell them. Even wives, who have watched their husband for years enjoy attending to their coins, sometimes do not have a clue what to do with them if their husband has died.

Even worse is when another party has access to the collection and part of the collection disappears. One widow who requested an appraisal of her deceased husband’s silver coins, said that she knew that her husband had collected gold coins throughout his life. After he died, when she opened the safe-deposit-box, there were no gold coins. His sister also had access to the safe-deposit-box, and it is not known if she took the gold coins. There was no inventory list, or list of coins that went into or taken from the box.

If your spouse, parent, relative, or someone you are close to collects coins, and you believe you might inherit them someday or that you are the executor of the estate, then it is important while they are alive to ask them where the coins are, if there is an inventory list with values associated with the coins, and if there is a trusted point of contact that might be useful in the event that you might have to sell them.

Even if your kids have never had interest in coin collecting, as they have become adults, you might show them some of your coins, explained some elementary differences, for example, bullion silver as compared to 90% silver coins. You can also create a detailed inventory list with values associated with the coins, and points of contact of trusted dealers and friends that the coins could be sold to.

On the other side of the coin so to speak, imagine being the collector, spending years enjoying and assembling your valuable collection, leaving it to your spouse, who subsequently sells it for far less than it was worth because you did not inform them what they were worth and who to sell to, would you be turning over in your grave?

One individual left his coins to his niece as part of the estate. Most of the coins were stored in bags and were easily found. It was not until they were moving furniture out that they discovered the true treasure. The dining room table seemed like an ordinary table. When an attempt was made to move it, it seemed heavy. The legs of the table appeared thicker than what might be expected. The legs were hollowed out and contained gold coins. These coins were not listed in any will or other document. These could have been easily overlooked. If the table was sold to someone who picked it up, these rare coins would have been gone from the family.

The newspaper had an article of a gentleman in Florida who had died in his house. He had no living relatives close by, and he was not discovered for several months after he died in his house. The Clerk from the local municipality was going through the house and discovered a cache of gold coins that were stored in military like metal cans in the back of the garage. The gold coins were valued at over seven million dollars. The gentleman and his mother had assembled the collection quietly during the 1950s and 1960s when gold was much cheaper. Luckily the Clerk was honest and the coins were given to a distant cousin.

There are also some collectors who burry their coins in their back yard. They might choose to tell no one so that no one would look for them. But, if they were killed in an accident, were getting older and developed alzheimer’s disease, if the valuables were not listed, how would their family know where and how to retrieve them?

Have you watched storage wars, a few of which have shown valuable coins and precious metals have been found in storage lockers. You see the jubilant new owners who have scored big in their hunt for treasure, but at the same time imagine the loss of the family who placed it there for hiding, temporary storage.

The point of these examples is the importance of leaving instructions with your will of any valuable property and who it should go to.

Previous: Introduction
Next: Leave or Sell Your Coins
Copyright 2015 by Kevin Flynn, All Rights Reserved

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