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Helping Heirs Like Pulling Teeth?
February 23, 2012



It was another early morning for me at the dentist. While I am not fond of going, I would rather get to a 7 a.m. appointment and get it over with rather than having it chop my day in half.

Regular readers of my blog know that I keep a fairly regular dental schedule. I have mentioned visits from time to time. Such a schedule helps me do something I otherwise wouldn’t be particularly inclined to do.

Collectors are like that, too. There are things that many of them don’t want to face and there is no schedule I know of that will force them.

Some won’t tell their wife or other heirs what it is they have been doing all these years.

Some won’t keep records of what they bought, what the price was and who they bought it from.

What’s up with that?

Make an appointment with your wife (or other heir) and tell her you will leave her well provided for if she will simply follow your instructions on how to sell the collection.

Get your records in order to help her out. Settling an estate is not a walk in the park under the best of circumstances.

Sure both of these things are like going to the dentist, but at root you know these things need to be done.

You don’t want her writing me a letter like one I got this week that reads, “I have recently inherited a collection of rare coins and it would be deeply appreciated if you could send me any information regarding this field.”

What will I do?

I will send the writer a copy of Numismatic News.

Would that be enough guidance for your wife?

Now you know why I am writing this.



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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News, Bank Note Reporter and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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