Settling An Estate

Settling an estate is a daunting task, and the executor, often the most trusted family member, is tasked with an important responsibility. This comes with challenges and pressures usually from family members.

Minor jealousy can exacerbate the loss of a loved one. With executors facing criticism that some say they didn’t see coming, they are expected to hurry the process and maximize the money accrued. We’ve noticed that with multi-million-dollar estates (and much smaller ones) things need to be handled delicately by the executor. Grandpa’s prized piece can be dismissed as worthless by one family member but revered by another. This is when we suggest the transparent auction process.

When selling via auction, family members can bid on the item if it has great sentimental value, giving every member a fair chance. The transparency assures untrusting family members that the item was maximized. Last month we helped settle an estate of guitars. Crammed into a tiny house, the fellow had collected over 200. He did not play, so they were in pristine condition.

Auction Items Can Be Tricky

The family was offered a lump sum by several dealers; they wondered if they were getting the best possible price, and the executor felt the pressure. We’ve had experience selling fine guitars hundreds of times in the past (in one example, we achieved over $15,000 for a vintage Gretsch Model in 2014). The first batch was sold last week, eliciting an email from the executor: “Dear Mrs. Hess, Thanks for letting me know the amount achieved. Your presentation and detailed photos were clearly a huge asset in marketing our inherited collection. We look forward to the next group at auction.”

Pictured below are two of the guitars from the current collection – a Gibson ES 330 Sunburst that achieved $5,000, and an acoustic anniversary Martin hollow body for over $1,500.

estate guitar
tricky guitar

Go ahead. Google us. Three former sothebyscom associates and two art historians
on staff. You read about us in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Fortune
magazine. Do you have expensive fine art for sale or an estate to settle? Contact us!
We have sold the contents of museums and collections for USF. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Always buying rare and valuable items. Cash or auction.
We make house calls statewide.

This is an archival article formerly written and is for informational purposes only. The valuations in this article have likely changed since it was first written.

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