The holidays are upon us, and many of us are blessed to have families that gather to celebrate. As you sit with your family this season, think about the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Many of these traditions involve material possessions such as your grandmother’s china that you use for your holiday meal or heirloom ornaments that have been passed down through the years.
Have you ever thought about what might happen to those possessions when the present owner passes away? If not, you really should. Estate skirmishes aren’t just about money; more often than not, supercharged clashes involve fights over how to pass down sentimental family heirlooms.
If you have heirlooms in your possession and you anticipate a fight when you are gone, you should take care to draft an estate plan that includes an organized disposition of your material possessions. As part of your comprehensive estate plan, you may also want to consider distributing some material possessions to your heirs prior to your death so that you are around to explain your thinking and keep tempers calm.
Either way, you need to be specific about your wishes for your sentimental items and family heirlooms by doing the following:
- Create a detailed list of your heirlooms and clearly name the intended recipient of each item.
- Share your list with your selected estate executor or trustee as well as your family.
- Include the list with your Last Will and Testament or other estate planning documents.
If you would like to learn more about estate planning strategies that you can put in place to make sure your family avoids squabbles and family feuds when you are gone, call our Brandon, Florida, will and trust lawyers at (813) 438-8503 to schedule a consultation.