Ask Alex : Family Heirlooms

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Hey Alex!

I recently had a family member pass a month back. It took a bit to work through the things, and she left me some rather expensive china. I really appreciate the thought, but I don’t really care to own fancy dishes. I was close with her, and I understand sentimental value, but I also don’t want to just have this stuff boxed up to never be seen again in the name of that sentimental value. Am I a bad relative if I sell it? Should I wait a certain amount of time before I do?




Hey Unsentimental!

It’s true, people today don’t value the same things that generations before us did. There has been a lot of research done showing that the younger generations prefer to have less “things” and a set of china would definitely fall into this list of items that the youthful are doing without. 

Good news, you are not a bad relative for seeing that this is something that you would not use and that would remain in storage! Take the time to acknowledge that your family member thought enough of you to leave you a treasured possession, but then realize that this same family member would probably want you to use it in any way that brings you joy. 

If selling the items provides you money to purchase something you really need or want, then the family member who passed would likely be happy to see that you were able to get purpose out of the china that was left to you.

Before selling be sure to check with other family members first. Proper etiquette dictates that other family members who might have use and sentimental attachment, get first dibs. If no family claims it, then by all means sell and give thanks to your relative for remembering you and helping you to get what you want in your life. 




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