Switch to ADA Accessible Theme Close Menu
Torrance Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer
Call Today For A Consultation 310-755-0383
Torrance Estate Planning & Probate > Blog > Wills > Considerations And Issues With Jewelry In Your Estate Plan

Considerations And Issues With Jewelry In Your Estate Plan


A large part of the value of someone’s estate, may well be their jewelry. But jewelry can actually present some problems when it comes to wills, trusts, and estate plans—problems that can be avoided, with proper advanced planning.

How Much is it Worth?

Jewelry is personal property, and it can be left to whomever you designate to receive the jewelry.

Like many other items there can be conflicting opinions as to what jewelry is worth. The more it’s worth, the higher the value of your estate. That may not be an issue for more moderate estates, but for higher value estates, and for the tax concerns of those inheriting the jewelry, whether it’s worth more or less may make a significant difference.

It also may make a difference to creditors. The more an estate is worth, the more creditors can possibly get from the estate. Jewelry that is worth less may not be so good for those inheriting it, but it may keep creditors from even bothering to make claims on that jewelry.

Sentimental Value

Jewelry also has the issue of sentimentality. Jewelry may be insignificant financially, but deeply meaningful for symbolic or sentimental issues.

This can create problems, especially if you want to leave the jewelry to multiple people to share. Normally, with jewelry of higher value, there is the option to sell the jewelry and divide it amongst whomever is inheriting it. But when jewelry only has sentimental value, there could be a problem.

You can still leave the only-sentimental jewelry to multiple beneficiaries, but how will they share it? Who will get to own it when? Where will it be kept?

How to Divide the Jewelry

If the jewelry does have a higher value, leaving it to multiple people almost requires that it be sold and the money divided amongst whomever you have designated; the jewelry can’t be physically divided.

You can, when making your estate plan, leave specific instructions on how the jewelry will be kept, maintained, or used. You can even specify when it is to be worn and how.

You can even designate that the jewelry must be kept in the family until a certain time or milestone, at which point, it must be sold.

No Will or Estate Plan

If you leave no such instructions, then your beneficiaries will be able to just sell the jewelry, if they so choose. Again, this may not be an issue for jewelry that has high monetary and low sentimental value.

When people pass away without leaving any will or estate plan, and there is jewelry, this can create problems. If there are multiple pieces of jewelry, they may have to be divided equally amongst children or siblings, depending on the applicable intestacy laws. That means that the jewelry must be appraised. It also means that there could be fighting over who gets sentimental jewelry, which again has a value far beyond its dollar value.

Do you have jewelry to leave in your estate plan? Let us help. Call the Torrance probate will and estate attorneys at Samuel Ford Law today.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn