A large part of the estate planning process involves choosing who you would like to inherit your assets. Often, items of monetary value take focus, and sentimental items are neglected.
Nonetheless, it’s important to address sentimental items when making plans for the future. Here are a few tips on how to do this.
Have a discussion with family members
When sentimental assets fall into the residuary estate, they don’t always end up in the hands of the appropriate people. Sometimes, families are able to have discussions after the fact, but it’s more effective to do this beforehand. While your loved ones should not directly influence your estate plan, discussions can help you clarify your own thoughts.
Talk to your loved ones and gather information on what’s important to them. This way, you’ll be able to allocate items based on who values them the most. You can use precise instructions in your will and other legal documents to ensure that sentimental items go to the right people.
Why address sentimental items?
Failure to address sentimental items in your estate plan means that it could ultimately fall to the court to decide. The court tends to take a pragmatic approach and divides items based on monetary value.
To the court, a sentimental item may have little value, but to you or a family member it may be priceless. Common items of this type include recipes, photographs, letters and jewelry.
By discussing your intentions with family members you can reduce the risks of estate planning disputes. Seeking legal guidance will help you come up with a strategy that brings your final wishes to fruition.