Mar 3, 2014

Executors’ Headache: Selling Trophy Mounts

If you were an estate executor and discovered a cache of illegal drugs in a decedent’s home, you’d know not to sell them, right? Of course; everyone knows that there are consequences for selling controlled substances. If you have even a modicum of environmental awareness, you also know that it’s illegal to improperly dispose of household hazardous waste and that personal property having a safety impact (firearms, for example) needs special care and handling.

What most executors and heirs don’t know is that they could go to jail or be fined for selling grandpa’s prized mounted deer head, fish, bird, rug or other decorative wildlife trophy item.

A case in point:

A California man inherited a mounted mule deer trophy from his grandfather. Gramps had “bagged” the deer while on a hunting trip to Colorado a few years earlier. Maybe grandpa thought he was being funny, because the heir in question was a vegetarian with no interest in such trophies. A college student in need of cash, the heir offered the trophy for sale on Craigslist. After playing “phone tag” for about a week with interested callers, an appointment was set and the trophy was sold. Read More...

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