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Use your will to state who should inherit a special item

Perhaps you have a special possession you would like to leave to your youngest grandson. It may be a sentimental object like your high school yearbook or something that will grow in value, like a baseball bat signed by Joe DiMaggio and his Yankee teammates.

Here is an example of an item that should have received a mention in a will, but only turned up through sheer coincidence.

Honored with a key

Albert Frost was a member of the Coast Guard for more than 30 years and served during World War II. In 1957, he commanded a Coast Guard cutter that carried a congressional delegation on a voyage up the Potomac River. The delegation honored Frost by presenting him with a brass key to the City of Washington. The box holding the key was marked: “Presented to Commander Albert Frost, USCGC Unimak, Washington, D.C. July 26, 1957.”

A strange coincidence

Frost died in 2017 on his 100th birthday. After his passing, his son and daughter-in-law sorted through his belongings. They kept some items and sent others to Goodwill. One of the latter items was a suitcase they thought only held bed linens. Unbeknownst to John and Elena, the key was inside. Fortunately, the executive director of the Foundation for Coast Guard History regularly searches for Coast Guard memorabilia online. At ShopGoodwill.com, he came across the key the delegation gave to Frost, plus a set of Coast Guard uniform ribbons. One coincidence led to another and finally, an active Coast Guard member tracked down John Frost and his wife to ask whether they wanted the key. Of course, the answer was yes. Frost was buried at Arlington National Cemetery a few days later, and the Coast Guard attendees who also served as pallbearers presented the key to John, 60 years after it had been presented to his father.

Keeping valuables in the family

Whether you are passing along a collection of valuable paintings, a major league baseball bat or a simple plaque about an award you received and always treasured, you can leave both valuable and sentimental objects to whomever you wish when you prepare your will. This is the perfect way to pass memories along from generation to generation.

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