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5 Steps to Managing & Protecting Your Collection of Valuables Thumbnail

5 Steps to Managing & Protecting Your Collection of Valuables

About the author: Lamar Watson, CFP®, is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor in the Washington, D.C. area that works with clients virtually across the country. Lamar's work with his clients focuses on budgeting, employee benefits, paying down debt, buying their first home, and investing. Lamar is the Founder of Dream Financial Planning, a virtual Fiduciary Financial Planning firm specifically designed to help young professionals and minorities take control of their finances and fulfill their dreams. Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we use the DREAM Financial Planning Process ™ to help our clients achieve their goals. 

There are many hobbies that people enjoy, both before and during retirement, and collecting valuables is one of them. Some of the items that people might collect are cars, art, jewelry, antiques, and fine wines. But in order to truly enjoy this hobby, it’s important that you are organized and protective over your assets. When it comes to caring for your collections, these five steps can help you to better manage and protect your valuables.

Step #1: Simplify & Organize Your Valuables

Depending on how long and how often you’ve focused on building your collection, it’s possible you may have accumulated a significant amount. If you aren’t already, start to organize and document your collection. Gather any relevant paperwork together, as well as how much you paid for the item and its current market value (if available). If it’s been a while since the item was originally collected, now may be a good time to work with an appraiser to help determine its worth.

Step #2: Insure Your Valuables

When you have a large number of valuables, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the proper measures to insure them. To do this, you may be asked to provide information including receipts or proof of purchase, authentication verification, and images.

Create an inventory and put details about each into the document, as this will help with organization when you work with your insurer. Most homeowners insurance policies will provide only limited protection for collectible items, so check what your insurance covers when covering valuables.1 

Step #3: Increase Your Coverage If Necessary

There are two steps you can take when increasing coverage to protect your collectibles.

Raise the limit of the liability: This is the less expensive option of the two, however, the amounts are still limited for individual pieces and overall losses of the items. 

Purchase a floater policy: When you do this, you can “schedule” your individual valuables, and while this is more costly, it offers more protection. This covers losses that your homeowner’s insurance will not cover. But, before you can purchase this type of insurance, your valuables must be appraised by a professional.

Step #4: Understand Tax Obligations

In terms of purchasing and collecting valuables, the IRS recognizes a few different status types that can affect tax status and liabilities.

These different IRS statuses include:

  1. Collector
  2. Investor
  3. Business Investor
  4. Dealer

The IRS presumes that all taxpayers are collectors unless proven otherwise. Work with an experienced tax professional to understand your potential tax obligations.

Step #5: Determine a Succession Plan

In the event of incapacitation or death, how would you like your collectibles to be passed along to others? Will family members inherit them, or would you like your valuables donated to a museum?

These are questions that will need to be addressed, but your financial professional and estate attorney can help develop a plan. There is often an emotional attachment to collectibles, especially those that have been in the family for generations. Working with a professional can help determine what you do with your items before you are no longer of sound mind. 

Organizing and preparing your collection of valuables now can help keep them protected and properly cared for when an expected event occurs.

Plan now so that you can enjoy your collections without worrying about the future. When it comes to this type of thing, it is advisable to work with a specialized expert in order to maximize your assets and get the most out of your valuables. 

Dream Financial Planning Process ™

Whether you're managing student loan debt, starting a family, or considering buying your first home, the DREAM Financial Planning Process™ is tailored to the unique needs of busy professionals in their 30s and 40s. This process focuses more on short-term goals while you grow and evolve in your personal and professional life. So if you're looking for guidance on Financial Planning, optimizing employee benefits, budgeting, student loans, and managing your 401k or investments, we can help.

Complimentary Consultation

With uncertainty surrounding the economic stability of our country, it's okay to have fears and anxieties surrounding your own savings and investments. The most productive course of action from here is to reach out to Dream Financial Planning (or whoever your trusted advisor might be) and discuss your options. It's easy to have knee-jerk reactions when it feels like the bottom is falling out, but it is imperative to make decisions using research-backed data and a level head. If you'd like a Complimentary Review and risk assessment of your investment portfolio, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Monthly Newsletter

In the August Newsletter, I explore how you should invest money for your short-term goals after you've established an emergency fund. I also discuss how a Financial Advisor can help you avoid emotional decision-making with U.S. News and World Report and how to know if your Financial Advisor is the right fit for you. There are also blog posts where I outline how to complete a mid-year financial check-up and 5 college planning mistakes to avoid.


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  1. https://www.wealthmanagement.com/high-net-worth/art-managing-collections

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