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What to do with those valuable collectibles in divorce

| Jun 4, 2021 | Division of Property

When affluent couples choose to divorce, they typically have many more matters to address than the average couple. What will happen to the stock options, the investment properties and second or third homes along with the retirement investments?

And what about those valuable collections of fine art, wine, luxury cars, jewelry and rare books? These assets, like others, must be addressed when considering property division matters. Which spouse will get these properties? Will these collectibles be sold? Or were some non-marital properties purchased prior to the marriage?

Know the value of the collections

You have more than dabbled in these collections, many of which were accumulated well before your marriage. There is the Monet painting and an Andy Warhol print. There are rare instruments such as a valuable violin from Europe and a Jimi Hendrix guitar that belong either in a museum or the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The gold, precious jewelry and antiques, too. And do not forget the sports memorabilia such as a baseball card collection that includes the rookie cards of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.

Through negotiations, you may come to an agreement as to who will retain the valuable marital property. And, if you cannot agree, the logical choice is to sell them through bids or an auction house. If you decide to sell, here are some crucial things to consider:

  • Maintain a precise inventory of every collection and every item within each collection. By doing so, you understand what type of collectible assets you own. In reviewing the lists, you may decide whether to keep or sell those rare coins, rare comic books and the de Kooning painting.
  • Determine and know the value of your collection. To do this, you likely need some help by working with a person who understands valuations and the market value of your collections. You may be surprised at just how much these items are worth.

Keep in mind that these collections were investments. If you have grown attached to them for sentimental reasons, then do your best to retain them and pass them on to beneficiaries. But, in many cases, you may have to sell them. If that is the case, you will likely get a fair price that allows you to start on a new collection.