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Talk about family heirlooms in advance

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2024 | Estate Planning |

If you’d like, you certainly have the option to list your family heirlooms in your will. You can then specify exactly who should get which items based on your own preferences or which people you believe would even be interested in those items.

But it’s often better to talk about these decisions in advance. The problem with family heirlooms is that they cause significant estate disputes. If your adult children and other beneficiaries only have your estate plan to go off of, they may argue about what you wanted or what you meant. If you tell them exactly what you want and have that conversation in advance, it reduces the confusion and the odds of a dispute.

Items with little value

One thing to keep in mind is that heirlooms may not have much value outside of your family. A book collection that children remember reading with their parents when they were little could be very valuable nostalgically and emotionally, but those books may only be worth a few cents each.

This is part of the reason why these estate disputes get so complicated. If two people are interested in the same item, it’s impossible for them both to have it and it doesn’t make any sense to sell the item and split up the money because it isn’t worth anything. It is worth much more to those specific beneficiaries because of the memories and emotions connected with that item; they were never interested in the financial value to begin with.

Whether you choose to talk with your beneficiaries about your estate plan or do it privately, take the time to carefully look into all of the necessary legal steps.