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Less sentimental value placed on family heirlooms

There are some people in Houston and beyond whose basements are filled with antique furniture and other collections. People often expect that family members will take care of valuable heirlooms. However, younger generations may not be inclined to hold on to such belongings.

One woman in another state inherited a collection of antique dolls from her mother. While her mother placed a lot of value on the dolls, the woman is finding that other family members aren't interested in taking them.

The same is true for antique furniture. Younger generations are often more interested in living in smaller spaces with less clutter. They often move around a lot. Having a piece of antique furniture is simply a nuisance. To some people's dismay, younger generations are now satisfied with filling their homes with furniture from Ikea.

Because of this trend, it is more important than ever before for families to have honest conversations about the distribution of property. If someone knows that certain family members aren't interested in keeping family heirlooms, it may be wise to find someone else to hold onto important property. In addition, families may consider having an estate sale or even donating antique pieces to a museum.

Although it is important for people to make proper estate plans, it is equally important to discuss those plans with family members. By knowing what people want ahead of time, people can be sure that important family heirlooms are distributed accordingly, and in some cases, that they remain in the family.

Source: The Star Tribune, "No longer saved for generations, family heirlooms are being shed," Kim Palmer, April 22, 2013

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