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What Will Happen To Our Heirlooms?

Yesterday I attended my usual monthly lunch with ladies from my neighborhood. We enjoy our time together as we swap news and talk about neighborhood issues. This month our conversation turned to our plans for our various family heirlooms.

Most of us have found that our Millennial children do not care to learn about what we have. They probably do not want most of it. So the members of the group began to compare notes on what to do with the antiques, scrapbooks, historic documents, etc. that we have collected.

I like the solution that one neighbor offered. She has taken photographs of everything of family importance in her possession and written summaries of the significance of each item. She placed an album with all this information and her Last Will and Testament in her safe. When she is gone and her family must dispose of her things, they can use the notebook as a guide for what they want to keep.

I think that I would like to do this with my own things. We have a few heirlooms I hope my family will want. I know their provenance, but perhaps my sons do not. Certainly my daughters-in-law and grandchildren have no idea of where I acquired certain items and why I keep them.

After talking this over with the ladies at lunch yesterday, I have come up with a plan. When my oldest granddaughter gets a little bigger (she is in the second grade), I think I will hire her for the summer to help me with this project. Taking the photographs, writing the descriptions, and putting them together in a notebook would be fun for both of us. She could gain an appreciation for the mementos documenting her family heritage. Best of all, someone in the next generation would have the necessary background for knowing what to keep and what to let go.

One Response to “What Will Happen To Our Heirlooms?”

  • Tony:

    Boy, it sure would have been nice to have had that type of document from my mother-in-law – she passed away and her husband has dementia – no way to know the provenance. The same with my mom, who also has dementia – it would have been nice to have had her do this while she still remembered all the detail and before she gave/threw away many things that we would have kept “if we had known”.

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