Time, it seems, has healed past wounds enough to leave us remembering Grandpa Oscar with a smile. Very belatedly the violin has served its purpose. We can hold on to the memories and let go of the object.
By Stephen K Lehnardt
Family heirlooms seem to have special powers over the family. Memories and story-telling often result in the discussions of an inherited object. As one sitting down to put your intentions to paper, or even as the inheritor, it is a power worth pondering.
There are always the goals and intentions of the planning parent, of course. Nevertheless, more often than not, it is the family that sees the peculiar power of an heirloom. Maybe it is something well-loved and fought over, or the heirloom may simply provide the tinder to which a disgruntled heir may choose to set match and light a fire.
Recently, Forbes considered this common source of family discord in an article titled “When It's Time To Part With Family Heirlooms, And Why I Gave Away Grandpa Oscar's Violin.”
You cannot make all of the mistakes in life yourself, so it is best to learn from the trials (and errors) of others. Be sure to read the original article as it is really far from a tale of fighting, divvying up, or even maximizing sale returns. No, this article provides fresh insights into the kinds of special moments an inherited object can bring to a family well after the loved one has past. Each family member had a piece of the story behind this particular violin chronicled in the original article, and, therefore, they all walked away learning a bit more about Uncle Oscar.
For more information in Liberty, MO and the Kansas City Area about effective estate planning, and to access free information and tools to organize your estate, visit our elder law and estate planning website.
Reference: Forbes (March 31, 2014) “When It's Time To Part With Family Heirlooms, And Why I Gave Away Grandpa Oscar's Violin”