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Practical Lessons from a 100-Tractor Inheritance

"This family tried so hard to make sure they did with the tractors what their loved one most likely would have wanted - selling some and keeping the rest for the next generation. After Dave's death, they found a list he had left, letting them know which tractors meant the most to him. That gave them much needed piece of mind."

Collections come in all shapes and sizes. For Dave Hawkins, his collection came in the form of tractors. The Iowa farmer collected more than 100 of them during his lifetime. Many of the tractors were vintage tractors that he restored. Every July 4th, he would open up his collection for public viewing.

When he passed away, the tractors became part of his estate and his family inherited them.

What happened next was featured in the TV Show Strange Inheritances as reported by Iowa Farmer Today in an article titled "TV show explores Iowa family inheritance."

The show highlighted that the family wanted to dispose of the tractors as Hawkins would have wanted. Some of the tractors were sold, but others were kept in the family collection.

The family was helped with this task by a list that Hawkins prepared. The list detailed which of the tractors meant the most to him.

Everyone with a collection of any kind can learn from this.

Prepare a list of what is in your collection. Which items are the most important and which items should be kept in the family? While this list may not need to be a part of your formal estate plan, make sure it does not conflict with your estate plan.

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