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They still don’t want your stuff. Last week’s article addressed the topic of personal property or your stuff, and the top 10 things kids don’t want to inherit from their parents or relatives. Fine china is at the top of the list with sterling silver flatware and crystal glasses running a close 2nd. The audience recommended donating to an organization, having a garage sale, opening an account for selling online, or my favorite, giving to the person you want to have it knowing it is now theirs to do as they please. I recently did this with my diamond wedding rings even though I would still occasionally wear them. For me, it was so much fun telling my niece the humorous story of my wedding day on Friday, June 13th. I reassured her the rings were hers and she could decide their fate. One woman with quite the collection of figurines is donating them as bingo prizes for her church. Another woman displays some of her photos each year at the family reunion and asks family members to choose a favorite. This creates the perfect opportunity to relive memories while decreasing the number of photos she has in her possession. Antique furniture was another topic of great concern. Conversation ensued about having the antiques appraised for selling or donating. Someone asked if the Antique Roadshow would be making an appearance in central Illinois anytime soon. The topic of books generated a lively discussion because this was the preferred method of education for many audience members, myself included. When I moved back to Illinois 11 years ago, my personal belongings included over 500 books. Since then, I’ve donated over 300 to libraries or others, but I’m sure my college finance books will forever be a permanent fixture on my bookcases. The type of book also was a big discussion topic especially if it was a gift for a graduation or special occasion, a signed copy by the author, or great-grandmother’s bible. I emphasized the importance of the owner determining the best course of action since it is their stuff to decide if something should be sold, given away, or even discarded. These are just some of the ideas we have to offer so you can begin your downsizing process in case your kids or other relatives don’t want your stuff. Where to start? How to begin such an overwhelming task? To help you get started, download our 'Personal Property Chapter'. After all, do you really want to burden your loved ones with all your stuff?
It’s true – your kids don’t want your stuff. The conversation on personal property or stuff is a universal topic. I design my speaking engagements for the intended audience and recently spoke to a large group of older, retired adults still living in their own homes. I shared the research on the top 10 things kids DON’T want to inherit from their parents or relatives. The top 10 are: 1) Fine china and fancy porcelain dinnerware 2) Sterling silver flatware and crystal wine glasses 3) Linens 4) Persian rugs 5) Dark, heavy antique furniture 6) Anything silver-plated that must be polished 7) Figurines and collector plates 8) Trunks, sewing machines and film projectors 9) Paper items such as photos, greeting cards, postcards 10) Books I briefly introduced myself and explained my reasons for starting Strategic Hourglass Solutions and then asked my audience how many owned #1 – the fine china. More than 50% raised their hands with one woman shouting out that she had 3 sets of china. This one category generated lots of discussion and disbelief that their kids or grandkids just might not want the china. Discussing the category of sterling silver and crystal glasses also prompted many responses from the audience. By the time we reached the category of figurines and collector plates, the attendees were sharing their stories and their solutions to address this universal problem of ‘those kids today’ who don’t want grandma’s Hummel figurines or photo albums filled with pictures of people they don’t know. One gentleman in the audience has every item listed in #8 above, and is concerned, maybe even perplexed, about the disposition of his mother’s antique sewing machine if none of his children want it. In next week’s article, I’ll reveal solutions some of the attendees shared with the group. Although a difficult topic to discuss, light-hearted moments and laughter filled the room as some recalled humorous stories dealing with personal property. It is imperative to be prepared for the possibility that your kids don’t want your stuff. Our mission at Strategic Hourglass Solutions is to educate others on the importance of Legacy Planning by starting the conversations on topics such as moving, downsizing, disability and death. Do you really want to burden your loved ones with dealing with all your stuff? Will your heirs disagree about the disposition of your stuff resulting in a permanent rift in the family? Does your family know the story behind a particular heirloom or have an appreciation of your figurine or plate collection? Do you know if your kids want your stuff? Please contact us to discuss scheduling a speaking engagement for your church, book club, or organization.