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Do you have any valuable family antiques?

When it comes to the value of your family heirlooms, there are actually two types of valuation to consider. The first is the emotional value that items might have to your family or to certain individuals within your family. You'll also want to consider the actual monetary value of pieces so that you can appropriately insure them and integrate them into your estate planning.

You can do a lot of research about the value of items online or in books, but for the best idea of the value of certain types of antiques or heirlooms, you might want to consult a professional appraiser. One type of heirloom some families have is fine jewelry. While it's common to pass down particularly beautiful or meaningful pieces through generations, these items aren't always extremely valuable in terms of money. Aesthetic beauty or the age of the item usually means less for value than a name brand such as Cartier.

Name matters when it comes to fine art, too, but providence is also important. Providence is the story and documentation that goes along with art to authenticate it. Trends fluctuate constantly in the art world, though, so values often change. If you have pieces of art in your estate, it's a good idea to keep up with values as you update your estate plan from time to time.

Other items that families might pass from generation to generation include fine china and antique wood furniture. Both items can have high monetary value attached or be worth much less than you might think. Most collectors of china look for select high-end collections, and wood furniture is usually only highly valuable if it is from certain eras, is in great condition and was never refinished.

Lack of monetary value doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider items in your estate plan, though. Your grandmother's china dinnerware might not be worth much at auction, but that doesn't mean all the grandchildren won't fight over it if you don't identify someone in your will to inherit it.

Source: Grandparents, "6 Family Heirlooms That Are Likely Valuable," Sara Schwartz, accessed Sep. 29, 2016

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