Will Certain Items Be Rejected by My Heirs?

Items not wanted as an inheritance
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Certain items may be appreciated more by others than your heirs.

You likely have heard the phrase “one person’s trash is another’s treasure.”

This statement is certainly proven true at garage sales and online marketplaces.

The alternative is also true.

What some people treasure, others finds worthless.

According to a recent Next Avenue article titled “Your Top 10 Objects Your Kids Don’t Want,” certain items you may recognize as holding value and meaning may not be desirable to your heirs.

Certain items are often not wanted by heirs.
Heirs often do not want certain items like fine china.

Consequently, when it comes to the following items, there may be better options than leaving them to your loved ones.

You should certainly have conversations with your children and grandchildren about whether they would like them.

What are some of these items?


If you were an avid reader of professional, educational, or literary books, then you may have amassed quite a library.

While the knowledge you gained from them is certainly enviable, your loved ones may not have space for your collection in their homes.

Rather, many may instead have digital libraries that take up less space.

If you think you may own some rare books, you should reach out to someone who deals in antiquities for a valuation.

Paper Ephemera.

Perhaps you have never heard this term.

Paper ephemera refers to the postcards, photos, and greeting cards you may have accumulated.

These items have little to no value unless they belong to a celebrity or have connections to a historical event.

Chances are most of your loved ones will not be reading your old postcards and greeting cards.

Although the family photos may hold sentimental value, you may find it is better to simply digitize them so everyone can access them without taking up space in houses or apartments.

If you want, you can also sell photos to stock image companies or greeting card publishers or even give them to archive businesses.

[That noted, I would not want any of my personal or family photos ending up on an embarrassing meme in the future! How about you?]

Should you choose to give them to a not-for-profit, you may be able to make a tax donation write-off.

Steamer Trunks, Sewing Machines, and Film Projectors.

Most people have no use or space for these.

If your family member worked as a professional one of these fields and the items are in good shape and of the highest quality, then they may be valuable.

Otherwise, they will hold relatively little value.

Porcelain Figurine Collections and Bradford Exchange Pieces.

Whether you collected figures intentionally or amassed a collection through well-meaning loved ones, it is likely these Hummels, Precious Moments, and collector plates will not be treasured by your heirs.

You can have a professional photographer take photos of these keepsakes so your loved ones can have memories of them even if they choose not to keep certain items.

Silver-Plated Stuff.

It is quite likely your children and grandchildren have never really polished silver and will likely not in the future.

Consequently, they may not use any silver plate serving bowls, tea services, platters, and candelabra you leave them.

Unless certain items are from Cartier or Tiffany, they will probably be under appreciated by your heirs.

Heavy, Dark, Antique Furniture.

You may have very attractive wood furniture.

Despite this, these pieces are not “in” unless they are mid-century modern.

If your children do not want certain items of furniture, you should probably donate them and take a tax write-off.

Persian Rugs.

The market for Persian rugs is quite low in most parts of the country.

Areas like Martha’s Vineyard may find a market for valuable pieces.

Unfortunately, rugs valued below $2,000 will be challenging to sell.


Linens will likely not be used by your children.

Regardless whether they own an iron, they may consider these pieces too much effort.

You may be able to sell or donate certain items to seamstresses who can turn them into wedding dresses, quinceañera gowns, or Christening clothes.

Another option is to provide a donation to a local theater or costume shop to be used in productions.

To find the fair market value, you can go to sites like P4a.com.

Sterling Silver Flatware and Crystal Wine Services.

Crystal glasses and sterling silver are lovely for formal entertaining.

However, this is a lost art.

To get the most value out of catering items, you may consider utilizing a site like Replacements.com.

These websites match those looking for certain items with a seller of the item.

Often people pay a good price for a single item.

Fine Porcelain Dinnerware.

Fine china is not often used by younger generations.

If you would rather sell it than leave it to a family member who does not value it, you should get a quote for your pattern.

Again, replacement companies may be a better option than a consignment store.

Of course, these observations are generalizations and may not apply to your family.

Be sure to discuss certain items with your children and grandchildren prior to making a decision whether they will be sold or inherited.

Reference: Next Avenue (March 1, 2018) “Your Top 10 Objects Your Kids Don’t Want”

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