Collectors frequently ask about leaving ship models to loved ones in wills and their valuation. Like all collectibles and valuables, ship models would be considered part of the overall estate, unless you specify who is to inherit your ship models after your death. Many collectors value their models beyond the monetary value and prefer to leave them to someone who shares their passion and enthusiasm for the collection.
The wording in your will provides direction for how your ship models will be distributed after your death. You can make a specific bequest, such as leaving certain models to specific people. Other people use more general language directing the executor to split a collection between two people, such as children or grandchildren. In this situation, the valuation of the models is important to evenly split the collection based on the value of the models.
During the probate process, accurate valuation of the estate is required to determine the amount of Inheritance Tax that must be paid on the estate. This includes money, property, and investments, as well as collectibles and other possessions. It is important for the valuation to be accurate or a penalty may be levied.
The burden of paying Inheritance Tax can be reduced by making certain gifts to beneficiaries in one’s lifetime, but this must be done seven years prior to death for the value of the model or models to fall out of the estate. For example, if your estate is large and you want to reduce or eliminate the amount of Inheritance Tax that must be paid, you can give children or grandchildren your model ship collection to keep it out of the estate, as long as the gift is made at least seven years before death.
Because each situation is unique, it is a good idea to contact a SCL Wills and Probate solicitors to assist you in making a will that conveys your wishes for your ship models and other possessions, money, and property. An experienced solicitor can answer your questions about leaving possessions in a will and other estate planning questions.