Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player in NBA history. Even his unsuccessful tenure as owner of the Charlotte Hornets was a financial windfall. However, Michael Jordan is still lugging around his home in the Chicagoland area. Jordan built this home during his tenure as a Chicago Bull and his been for sale for over a decade, despite multiple price cuts.

The simple fact is that no one wants to own a house that was built to your particular wants and needs, even Michael Jordan’s. That is also the case when it comes to your personal collections. George Gene Gustines writing at the New York Times documents the challenges that families are facing disposing of their loved one’s collections after they pass away.

In some cases a collection is worthy of donation to the museum. But in most cases the disposition of a collection is more haphazard. Gustines writes:

“When the end comes, families sometimes go to the most convenient source — a local comic book store, a pawnshop — and may only get a fraction of what their collections are worth. In other cases, a collection is worth much less than what the owner, or inheritor, thought.”

No matter the value of your collectibles or heirlooms it makes sense to put some thought and planning into their eventual disposition. At the very least you need to be clear in your will (or trust) how your personal property should be distributed. Ashlea Ebeling in the Wall Street Journal writes about the errors people make.

“There are many ways to go wrong: writing vaguely worded wills, putting sticky notes on items around the house as bequests and counting on heirs to work it out. Missteps can cost an estate thousands of dollars, and disputes over heirlooms can grow ugly, dragging out the estate process and leading to lingering resentments, say estate administrators.”

All that being said, the chances are that nobody wants your stuff.* On the off chance someone does want your stuff, it makes sense to do some planning on its disposition, before somebody else decides for you.

*Or your digital stuff.

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