California residents have become increasingly aware of the need to have an estate plan in place. The most recent trend has likely occurred in light of several celebrities passing away without plans, and consequently, leaving their families to deal with a mess in the aftermath.
Including the essentials in an estate plan is wise, however, one must be careful to account for all personal property that will be gifted or devised within a will or trust. The obvious assets such a home, automobiles, and financial assets are almost always included in an estate plan, but often, it’s the smaller sentimental items that are forgotten and lead to the biggest rifts among family members.
Personal belongings such as jewelry, furniture, art, music or even a baseball card collection can evoke fond memories of moments shared during your lifetime and may be passed down as family heirlooms. And yes, the simple items with low monetary value are important also. To certain members of your family, these items may be priceless and should be clearly identified in your estate plan.
A simple solution to ensure the smaller items are included in your estate plan is to create an inventory of these items now. A spreadsheet or similar document identifying the item, its location, and who will be gifted is a practical method of organizing these belongings. Once created, this document can be given to your estate planning attorney and drafted into your plan.
In closing, let us not underestimate the power of sentimental value when considering how personal property will be distributed at death. Countless families have endured unnecessary stress and discord over a piece of jewelry, antique lamp, or some other item not accounted for in a will or trust. A California estate planning attorney can design a plan that will help maintain peaceful family relationships long after you’ve departed.
Contact us today to learn more at (323) 405-7017 or click on the “Get Started” button to schedule a planning session.