Philatelic Estate Planning
Whether pursued over a lifetime or only for a few years, may provide a substantial component of monetary value to an estate. Collections which include rare stamps (whether unused, used or on their original envelopes) can be lasting stores of value, and can appreciate in value over time. Few other hobbies to which one can devote such time and attention can come close to providing the financial recompense provided by philately.
Therefore, whether one is the original collector, the heir, or an estate administrator, it is important to consider the eventual disposition of a philatelic estate in order to realise the most from its inherent value. Collectors sometimes dissemble about the cash value of their holdings while they are alive – sometimes exaggerating to impress their friends, sometimes greatly understating the amount of money they have invested, to pacify their spouses.
You are the collector
1- Determining who inherits and how
2- The detailed Inventory
You are the Heirs or Executors
A collection of stamps is one that has been sorted, identified, catalogued, organized, and studied, and usually mounted in albums or carefully inserted into stock pages or stock books.
When you inherit a stamp collection whatever your original thoughts (to keep it, to give it to Museum, association or Charity or to sell it), you should first request for a valuation and advice from specialists.
Without an inventory left by the collector to guide you, it may be very difficult for you to determine where the value is, how much the net cash value of any given item could be, and what is the approximate total value of the holdings.
When the time comes to sell, you have important choices to make!
There are several alternatives to consider regarding the means of sale, and these will affect the time it takes to receive the final realisation.
In principle, there are three methods:
• Outright sale by a stamp dealer – This option may not achieve anything close to the maximum possible realisation, but it does have one advantage: it is fast, and final, with little or no paperwork beyond a bill of sale.
• Brokered or Private Treaty sale – When a collector has built up specialised collections, it may be possible to avoid the paperwork and uncertainties of an auction process by consigning such collections to a reliable partner to be offered to leading buyers world-wide.
• Sale via auction – For over 125 years, philatelic auctions have been the first choice when selling for the vast majority of philatelists or their heirs, for several fundamental reasons: a fixed sale date, transparency, objectivity and most importantly, competition, which usually generates the highest result possible.
As philatelists and auctioneers for over 50 years, we have experienced it all. Families faced with all of the emotional, legaland financial complications upon the death of a collector often do not know how or where to turn to get the right advice prior to disposing of a philatelic estate. Old friends come forward who claim, “He promised to give me this item,” or dealers and auctioneers claim, “We’ll take good care of you.” Faced with a barrage of often unwanted attention, survivors who want the grieving and constant reminders of a recent passing to stop must choose wisely, to pursue the best alternatives for maximum realisation of value.