Odds and Ends

The best gift I ever got was a box of rocks.


(Yes, really.)


It was my fortieth birthday and my childhood friend, Sarah, had recently returned from a trip to the seashore with her kids.


She presented me with this beautiful blue box.


Inside were rocks. Dozens of rocks. There were rocks worn smooth by mountain streams and rocks that glistened when you held them in the light. They were all different shapes and sizes.  They were nothing special. But they were everything special.


Sarah showed me that, if you positioned them just right, each stone was shaped like a heart.


I cried happy tears over that box of stone valentines and I now keep my precious box of rocks in a prominent spot at home. I open it up and pull out a rock any time that I need to be reminded that I am loved.


They’re worth nothing. They’re worth everything.


In my work as an estate planning lawyer, I get to catch glimpses of all sorts of precious collections. Some of them have great monetary value and others are priceless because they’re sentimental.


I remember one of my favorite clients inviting me to his home and shyly presenting his expansive collection of snow globes. There was a snow globe with the Taj Mahal nestled neatly in the middle of a watery desert. There was one of Mount Rushmore and another of Elvis.


These were his treasures and he had very specific wishes about who should receive each one someday.


I don’t have the patience necessary to create an inventory of a thousand snow globes (or even a box full of priceless-to-me rocks.) But there is great value in creating a record of these things.


Yes, it’s a great idea to have an inventory of all of your household items to present to your insurance company in the event of a potential loss. But it’s also a great idea to have an inventory of your curiosities and collections as you create a legacy of generosity for future generations.


It helps to know what you’ve got before you give it away.


Hartman Inventory can help. They have the patience, fortitude, and care to examine every snow globe, rock, clock, or antique dresser, and make a record of it.


I don’t.


Give them a call. Invite them to your home. And show them your precious collections.  I’m glad I did.


Anastasia Demos Mills concentrates her law practice on advising and serving Indiana families, focusing primarily on adoptions, elder care planning/health care planning, guardianships of children and incapacitated adults, estate and special needs trust planning, and probate. Ms. Mills can be reached via email, through her website, or phone 317-205-4357.