Giving Away Tea Is Not as Easy as It Looks

Giving away teaGiving away tea through an estate plan can be a hot and cold.  If you have ever watched PBS’s Antique Road Show, it will not take very long to identify why a tea or china set can be a valuable.

Even if you think your tea or china set has no value or is limited to sentimental value, finding the right home for your tea set is as easy as describing it with detail.

Thus, below is a brief process outlining how to prepare a tea or china set for your estate plan.

Step 1 in giving away your tea set in an estate plan

The first step in giving away tea is knowing where it is.  You might think this is a funny way to start.  However, as people age, declutter or downsize, finding your tea or china set becomes increasingly more difficult.

Oh, lets not forget this either:  there mere fact you know the expensive heirloom is inside your house is not sufficient either.  In my experience, it can take weeks and months for families to sort through boxes, closets and garages.

Thus, the first step in giving away your tea set or china set is knowing where it is.cluttered estate

Step 2 in giving away tea or a china set in an estate plan

The second step is taking a picture.  Sometimes, a tea or china set can be limited to a dinner platter.  Other times, a person’s “tea set” or “china set” can have hundreds of pieces.

Yes, a person can divide their set into smaller sets and distribute them among more than one child or family member.  In fact, this appears to be the recent norm.

On the other hand, sometimes families have one location were they like to meet and Clients enjoy the piece of mind of making sure their set is in one place.

Step 3 in giving away tea or a china set in an estate plan

My favorite part about Clients looking to give away tea or china sets in their estate plan are the stories that go along with this process.  Generally, there is either:

  • A story where or how the china set was acquired, or
  • A reason a person finds value in their possession.

Yes, describing this story within a legacy letter or trust document is a great way of passing along history.

Giving away tea in your will

People wishing to gift their china or tea set can utilize the “specific gift” area of a will or estate plan.

Yes, this process can be as simple as affirming where, who and how your dinner set should be gifted.

For those wishing to add sentimental value or affirming their wishes, including a picture, story or anecdote can have a lasting impact on a person’s bequest.

Unfortunately, the alternative includes Minnesota’s intestacy laws, which is an uncomfortable process at best.china set for estate plan

Buried wedding rings and your Medical Assistance

Another common question arising from tea or china sets having significant value is whether it will impact medical assistance.  I know it sounds crazy, but this is a real issue of concern.

Every situation is different.  In general, medical assistance programs exclude “personal effects” as an asset.  However, every situation and estate will be different.

Help giving away tea or your china set

Please contact me if you need help adding your tea or china set to an estate plan.