Nearly half of adults don’t feel they have items of value to pass down

The tradition of handing down family heirlooms is dying off as less than half of adults plan to pass on something of sentimental value, according to research.

The tradition of handing down family heirlooms is dying off as less than half of adults plan to pass on something of sentimental value, according to research.

 A study of 2,000 people found 43 per cent don’t think they have anything of true sentimental or monetary value.

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Reasons cited for this shift in behaviour were modern everyday items not having as much sentimental value (18 per cent) and items being more ‘disposable’ now (21 per cent).

 According to the research by Whitley Neill Gin, four in 10 (41 per cent) would love to be able to pass something down to future generations or friends, with over a third (35 per cent) citing keeping their family’s heritage alive as their main motivation for wanting to do this.

 In an ideal world where everyone had something to leave behind, 13 per cent would leave an item to a friend rather than family.

Over a third (36 per cent) currently possess something of sentimental or monetary value that’s been passed down to them with jewellery being the most received item, accounting for almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of the nation’s heirlooms.

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It was also cited as the item that most people believe is worth passing on, followed by books and household items including glassware, dinner service and cutlery.

Johnny Neill, founder of Whitley Neill Gin, which is hoping to reignite the age-old tradition of passing down heirlooms by giving 15 winners a diamond in bottles of Distiller’s Cut London Dry Gin, worth a collective £25,000, said: “As a family brand, whose distilling knowledge has been passed down through eight generations, we value the importance of heritage and legacy.

"Which is why we want to help others have something lovely to pass on – in this case a diamond which can be embedded into a pieceof jewellery, watch, or precious item.”

Passing value down to generations

It also emerged as a nation we would prefer to receive something of sentimental value (28 per cent) rather than monetary value (22 per cent), although this stance does vary between genders.

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A third (33 per cent) of women claimed they would prefer an item of sentimental value, while just 20 per cent would prefer something of monetary value.

By contrast, men were divided, with 24 per cent claiming to prefer an item of sentimental importance, and the same amount (24 per cent) thinking about their finances.

Sentimental items are also valued amongst younger generations, with over a third (38 per cent) of 18- to 24-year-olds stating that they would prefer an item which meant something special.

However, some older generations said otherwise, with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of 55- to 64-year-olds stating they would prefer an item of monetary value, according to the OnePoll figures.

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Johnny Neill added: “Jewellery is the item that most people would like to pass on to loved ones, and premium gin and diamonds are both renowned for their quality and cut, so when thinking about what we could offer, diamonds seemed like a fitting choice.”

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