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Inheritance: Do You Worry about the Family Treasures being Sold Off?

Article by Fabafterfifty
Would you worry about a much loved family heirloom being sold and not treasured?
It seems different attitudes towards inheritance  across the generations are creating family tensions.

New research claims that over two thirds (68%) of us say young people have adopted a ‘devil may care’ attitude towards inheritance and 71% fear youngsters would sell off treasured family possessions if they were to receive them as part of an inheritance. This concern increases to almost four fifths (79%) among those aged over 65.

However, the reality is very different: 83% of the youngest 16-24 age group questioned as part of Legal & General’s Changing Face of British Homes Report Two said they would not sell off possessions passed on to them by family members.

The research reveals that Brits continue to have a sentimental relationship with possessions. With property ownership out of reach for many and now seen as a longer-term objective, people are increasingly keen to leave their personal stamp on their property whether owned or rented, which is where inherited items can help add to an eclectic décor scheme. We’re keeping books as well as holding onto items we inherit and looking at restoration projects and up-cycling.

I was pleased to discover that I am not the last hoarder standing!

Additional findings from Changing Face of British Homes Two include:

Selling off the family treasures

* Almost three quarters (70%) of people said that even if they were to replace items such as CDs, DVDs and books with electronic or online versions, they would still keep the original physical items stored in their home, for example, in the attic.
* The majority of Brits (63%) would still prefer inheritance which wasn’t in the form of possessions. Most people would prefer to receive cash (57%), closely followed by those who would prefer property (53%) as part of a will.
* Men are perhaps less trusting of younger generations’ attitudes to inheritance – three quarters of men (75%) believe under 30s are likely to sell off treasured family items compared to 68% of women.
* Protecting our possessions remains important for many with two thirds (66%) saying home insurance is a priority. However, more than two thirds of those polled (68%) have failed to consider how buying new items for the home might increase the value of their possessions.

Mike Lawler, Director for Legal & General’s general insurance business said:

“It’s good to know that younger people have more respect for treasured family items than many people think. With items of sentimental value so important to many, it’s vital that they are protected in case they are damaged or stolen. Legal & General strongly recommends that the value of items such as jewellery, paintings and works of art is regularly reviewed and professional advice sought where necessary.”

Photo Credit: Pong


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  1. Monica

    November 9, 2013

    It’s all just stuff. Apart from one or two items of significant jewellery like wedding & engagement rings I don’t give a fig about any possessions. Once you’ve suffered loss & brereavementbits only happy memories to share have any real meaning. Sell it all & spend it enjoying life together whilst you can.

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