The Fourth D in the Estate Business: Downsizing  

The Fourth D in the Estate Business: Downsizing

Inside the Auction House | June 16, 2015
Downsizing in Florida

The estate business is big on the 3-“D’s.” – Debt, Divorce and Death. But since opening the Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Florida offices, a fourth “D” has arisen —Downsizing.

In the Naples and Palm Beach offices, LHA specialists meet many people who move to Florida, seeking a lifestyle that no longer requires fancy jewelry and timepieces. Their Florida home isn’t quite as accommodating to the troves of artwork and decorative objects they enjoy in other parts of the country,

The easygoing Florida lifestyle doesn’t usually require a large silver flatware service or a Flora Danica porcelain collection: residents are no longer entertaining at the same level as they once were, or they just prefer a more simple and casual approach to dining. Many Floridians have lanais attached to their houses (a screened-in outdoor area that typically encloses the patio and pool area ), a more casual setting for a dinner party on a warm Florida night.

Large diamond necklaces and rings often go unworn in Florida—particularly on the southwest coast, due to the relaxed lifestyle. Black tie galas are replaced with less formal beach- like affairs and it’s difficult to play tennis wearing a 10 carat diamond ring.

There are many jewelry collections in Florida that barely see the outside of a safe deposit box.  Sometimes clients do not want to pass the jewels on to anyone in the family, so they remain in a box, collecting dust while the insurance premiums continue to increase. Selling a jewelry or watch collection is a lucrative way to downsize during a time when the jewelry market is hungry for Art Deco items, investment-grade diamonds and gemstones, and important makers such as Tiffany, Van Cleef and Cartier.

Paintings and important prints can often compete for top real estate in homes when a person downsizes. Homes in Florida often have more windows than walls. After a move to Florida, it’s not a bad idea to trade a Jackson Pollock drawing or Picasso print for an ocean or golf course view.  Selling fine art at auction is often a better solution than paying for storage or insurance or even storing works of art under a bed or in a closet where the potential for damage increases.

Downsizing is certainly not as distressing as the other D’s and the steps involved in downsizing are fairly easy, however, it does require organization. Begin by talking with your family members and discuss how items and valuables will be dispersed. Once items are claimed, consult an auction house to evaluate and review the estate. The professionals at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers are well trained to review items and discuss what’s saleable through an auction. After a conversation, the client is better informed about the value of the jewelry, artwork and decorative objects that make up the estate and can make a more informed decision during the downsizing process.

Leslie Hindan Auctioneers has regional offices in Palm Beach and Naples and holds 6 auctions per year. The specialists on hand are available for appraisals on fine art, jewelry, furniture and decorative items that don’t quite make the cut in the Florida home downsize. Call us today to schedule an appointment in our Florida offices.

Palm Beach | 561.833.8053 |

Naples | 239.643.4448 |


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