Will Seippel | June 20, 2023

collection of antiques
The Great Wealth Transfer includes antiques and collectibles
Image: Vasilis Caravitis on Unsplash

A massive shift in wealth is currently taking place. According to estimates, a wealth transfer amounting to trillions of dollars will occur in the coming decades. This enormous shift in wealth ownership is primarily the result of aging populations and increased asset values.

As baby boomers reach the end of their lives, they distribute their assets to heirs. Real estate, stocks, and fine art have seen an uptick in value, making the total amount transferred more significant than ever. Understanding the worth of your antiques and collectibles portfolio is essential. The way forward is to develop a clear plan with precise valuations for these items.

Antiques and Collectibles: Exploring Their Value

People have always highly sought antiques and works of art, from antiquities to collectibles, for their individuality, beauty, and provenance. They can have substantial financial value, too, often making up 20 to 30 percent of an individual’s wealth. Showcasing this even more clearly, Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index found in 2022 that art showed the highest gains, with a 29 percent rise in sales. Even more astounding, Deloitte’s 2021 Art & Finance Report reported global sales of these items surpassed $50 billion last year.

Gen Z collectors (born between 1997 and 2012) allocated over 30 percent of their wealth to art collections, according to The Art Market 2022, compiled by Art Basel and UBS. Accordingly, 27 percent of millennials and 24 percent of Gen X collectors have similar allocations. That’s too much money to ignore. Those who collect for investment don’t ignore it; they plan for it. What are your plans?

Collectibles, especially those acquired for enjoyment rather than as investments, are often undervalued or overlooked compared to other assets such as stocks or property. Remember that these objects could be worth a lot of money. To avoid unforeseen tax issues later on, it is vital to consider the value of antiques and collectibles when planning an estate.

Discover How Your Collections Will Impact Your Estate

If you have an art, antique, or other collection to bequeath, now is the time to start thinking about how it fits into your overall estate plan. You’ll thus ensure that your collection is adequately evaluated at this historical wealth transfer event—both financially and emotionally. When determining the worth of art and antiques for inheritance purposes, consult with art and antique valuation experts to ensure accurate appraisals. Don’t overlook WorthPoint®’s Price Guide and evaluation tools, either.

Educate yourself on managing your art, antiques, and collectibles portfolio to protect your assets and leave a legacy for future generations.

Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. An Inc. 500 Company, WorthPoint is used by individuals and organizations seeking credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.