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What happens to your memorabilia after you die?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Estate Planning

Those stamps, sports memorabilia, coins, autographs and other collections may be part of a great hobby when you are alive but can cause inconvenience for your heirs after you die. Estate planning should address what happens to your collections and memorabilia.


Typically, the collection’s owner may be the only person who knows what it contains and where all the items are located. Conduct a thorough and current inventory. Document your collection’s items, scale, and location. Make sure that your estate administrator and family have this information.

Locate and keep certificates of authentication and descriptions with the items for proper valuation and to help with any future sales. Valuations may fluctuate over time and an appraisal may provide more accurate information.

Also, ask your family members whether they want to keep a specific item. Identify these items and their intended beneficiary in your will and other estate documents.

Future sales

Your heirs and beneficiaries may not want to keep your collection, however. They could consider these items as an investment that can be sold.

Dealers will purchase almost any collection. But they will pay about 50% of their actual value if they only buy items for resale.

You can help your beneficiaries by seeking out auction houses that will sell your items. This will help eliminate the need to find specialized dealers that can provide a fair price.


Like other investments, market forces and events may determine the value and time to sell memorabilia. Different times and conditions may bring a higher price than others.

Some purchasers may take advantage of inexperienced sellers. A financial advisor with expertise in this area may provide important information.