New York State can be a hotbed for the art scene with many people collecting valuable items. Collectibles are not limited to artwork, however. Anything can rise in value based on its popularity and historic significance. That includes sports collectibles, coins, stamps, antiques and more. When drafting estate planning documents, it is imperative for the testator to be cognizant of these properties and to prepare accordingly. As with any asset and an estate plan, having legal guidance is crucial.

These properties vastly differ from items like real estate, bank accounts and retirement accounts. Their value and aesthetic can go beyond the obvious, and it may be wise to have an established appraisal when preparing an estate plan.

Moreover, there are several strategies that can be useful when it comes to preserving these assets for future generations.

It is not uncommon for collectibles to simply disappear from wherever they are stored. They might be forgotten when a person cleans out a closet or a basement and properties worth significant sums are lost. To protect them, the inventory of these items should be kept and updated with an attorney, who can make heirs and advisors aware of them. Security precautions like keeping the property in a safety deposit box or a safe is helpful.

Documentation like a certificate of authenticity, a clear appraisal and insurance are protective devices that are also important.

Many properties that are of substantial value can be lost to yard sales or simply stolen without the knowledge of the family left behind. For those who have taken the time to accrue these collections, creating a comprehensive estate plan is important. A legal firm that focuses on estate planning can help families preserve assets and avoid disputes.