> Do these detailed and explicit instructions need to be part of a formal
> lawyer-written and legalese-filled document, or will it suffice to have a
> written note with your signed name on it? Or just a formal will with a
> saying to see a related informal document?
A legal will does not have to be a lawyer-written and legalese-filled
document, but often it is a good idea.
It is also a good idea to have all the information in a will, rather
than on attached documents. The latter are prone to getting lost, and
can result in a tangle if the will is contested.
To do this properly, the collection should be clearly defined, so the
executor knows what is to be dealt with. Major items in the collection
should be identified and listed with descriptions, model numbers, and
even serial numbers, if applicable. There should be clear guidelines
for the executor so they know how to deal with the collection. There
should be contingencies in case the executor can not perform his
duties (this happens a *lot* - executors die too), listing museums and
historic groups that could potentially help. There should also be
contingencies in case beneficiaries can not accept what is willed to
them (because they die too).
All this is basic estate lawyer stuff.