How to pass on your possessions may seem like the main point of estate planning, but passing on possessions has evolved. We are living in times when “stuff” isn’t as coveted by the younger generations. Tastes change right along with technology and what once may have been considered as a “had to have” item, could now be considered worthless to keep. In estate planning you’re typically thinking about your money and large assets like your home. But you should also have a plan for your physical possessions. Collectibles, furniture, books, costume jewelry, are all viewed differently now as younger generations are minimizing their possessions. Here’s how to pass on your possessions to your heirs in the most thoughtful way.
Passing on Your Possessions with Ease
Take Inventory of What You Have
Even if you aren’t moving or downsizing, taking the time to go through your things is a great way to start thinking about how to pass on your possessions. It can be daunting, but overall it may feel refreshing to organize and declutter. You may think that your kids will want your stuff, but times are changing. Sometimes the things we collect or treasure may not be for everyone. Will your collections and other things be a hindrance to your loved ones? Think about your items that you cherish the most and letting them live on in the right place. Certain collections can be sold or donated to places that will also cherish them. Leaving this task to your loved ones could mean your valued treasures may not end up in the right hands.
Plan With Your Family
We mention talking to your family about your estate plan quite frequently. We don’t mean it to be overbearing, it’s only because this is the most important step of your estate plan. It may not be easy to discuss a time when you won’t be here, but this can help alleviate some grief as there’s a plan of action instead of potential conflict. There could be things that your loved ones would like to keep that you may not even be aware of. Ask your kids if they have anything in mind that they’d like to hold onto. This can help if you are going through and decluttering so you don’t accidentally get rid of something that you deemed as unimportant. Have a specific list of things you’re passing on and who they are going to.
Go Digital Where You Can
In a time of ever evolving technology, we have so many ways in which our legacies can live on. We can now digitize family videos and photos, making it easier to share with loved ones. Create a digital family vault with recipes, documents, photos, videos, etc. You can even leave a video with your wishes for them as a special keepsake when they need it. If you aren’t tech savvy, you can enlist help from a family member or find a local service to help you.
Passing on your possessions can be done easily for your loved ones with the right planning. Show your loved ones how much you care with a thoughtful plan that keeps from overwhelming them with your stuff. Let us guide you in the process. If you’re in Illinois or Wisconsin, let us know how we can help.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.