Disposing of a Collection

DISPOSING OF A COLLECTION

by David Bernstein, USCS #8845

As a fellow collector and USCS Director, I have often heard stories about the heirs of our members wondering what to do with an inherited naval cover collection. Many collections have simply been dumped in the trash or sold in a way that robbed the deceased’s family of the true value of the covers because no instructions were left by the cover collector for the proper care and disposal of the covers.

As Chairman of the Heirs & Estates Committee, our committee members are available to make suggestions to the heirs of the deceased to properly dispose of collections that are no longer wanted.

Please inform your heirs that your naval cover collection does have value. The collection should be kept in a cool, dry space that is free from smoke, odors, pets, insects and from anything which might damage paper documents. Below is a form that should be filled out and discussed with your heirs and a copy left with the collection. If our help is needed a copy should be sent to me at the appropriate time to assist your heirs in disposal of the collection.

When filling out the form below; feel free to add any relevant additional information. When estimating the value of your collection, please be realistic so as not to surprise nor disappoint your heirs as to the net realizable value. If you plan on having the collection sold to a dealer, please realize that no dealer will pay the current market price for your covers and that a discount may be required to entice a dealer to purchase your entire collection. Over-valuation may also have negative tax implications for your estate.

We can assist you in finding dealers or fellow collectors who might have an interest in purchasing the collection, or if you choose to donate the collection to the USCS we can assist in that regard as well and there may be favorable tax advantages in doing so. The USCS cannot provide you an appraisal of the covers as this is prohibited by the IRS.

You should consult with a lawyer and draft a will with any specific bequests you may have for your Naval cover collection and other particular items you wish to direct to specific survivors.

Be sure to destroy any previous instructions regarding the Heirs and Estate Committee as the USCS contact has changed.  Please print the two pages below and place them with your cover collection and other important papers:

Information about the Collection

Name ____________________________________________________________

USCS Membership # ________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________
Telephone Number(s) ____________________________________
Email address ___________________________________________

Executor __________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________
Telephone Number ______________________________________
Email address ___________________________________________

Beneficiary(ies) ____________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________
Telephone Number ______________________________________
Email Address ___________________________________________

Location of collection ______________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

How is the collection stored? ________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

How do you file, sort and/or classify your covers? ______________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Describe your collection ____________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Describe any significant or valuable covers ____________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Describe any exhibits you might have. Do you want to keep this exhibit intact? __________
________________________________________________________________________________

Special bequests ________________________________________________________________

What is the approximate retail value of your collection? ______________________________