Splitting an estate can be a stressful and frustrating time, especially when it comes to things like estate jewelry. Estate jewelry often has both financial and sentimental value, and that matters. Here are a few tips for getting through the process.
Have Everyone Make a List
Begin by putting out a complete inventory of the jewelry and having everyone make a list of which items they want. This makes it clear which items are in dispute and avoids anyone trying to “get back” at someone else by claiming something they want.
Get an Appraisal
An official appraisal for jewelry is important, because otherwise it can be very difficult to tell how much it’s worth. Jewelry that’s been in the family for some time may have some antique value as well as the value of the settings and the stones.
Consider Liquidating the Items People Don’t Want
If there are things no one wants, they can be sold instead: the cash from these items can then be used to “balance out” the value of the jewelry that everyone else gets.
Negotiate for Items in Dispute
When an item is in dispute, negotiations can begin. The parties that are interested may be able to make concessions on other items for the items that they really want or may be able to offer some cash from their share of the liquidated items in return.
If a dispute truly cannot be resolved, often the best and fairest way to deal with it is to liquidate the given item. Otherwise, expensive items of jewelry can have their ownership shared as an investment, though that may require keeping the item permanently in a bank lock box or other shared storage.