Well, you may have updated your beneficiary designations, established a trust or more, and retitled some property along your estate planning journey. This is great! These are things that will help ensure your legacy passes as seamlessly as possible to your loved ones. While most of us think of those assets that are big in value, whether that value is of the sentimental or financial variety, there is often a whole host of other assets that often get left behind in the estate planning process. These assets mainly involve your tangible personal property. Tangible personal property can involve a wide variety of assets, including things like furniture, household goods, clothes, accessories, and more. When considering what to do about the tangible personal property you have amassed over your lifetime, you have a number of options available.
How to Handle Tangible Personal Property Distribution
Before getting into how you can handle tangible personal property distribution in your estate plan, it is worth mentioning that you may want to consider giving away some of your personal property before you pass away. For instance, if there is a specific painting you want a loved one to have, give that to them now. Is there a piece of jewelry you know someone would love to have? Consider gifting it to them while you can see the joy it brings to their face. This kind of lifetime giving can mean you get to reap the happiness your gift brings to someone else. It also means there will be less property to sort through and distribute after you pass away.
Okay, now let’s get into the options for how you can address the distribution of your tangible personal property in your estate. Most people will leave all of this to their surviving spouse and then to their children once the surviving spouse passes away. How, however, are your children to manage your tangible personal property? What if you do not have a surviving spouse? What if you want to have your tangible personal property distributed amongst several different people?
When you want your tangible personal property distributed amongst two or more people, the guidance you can provide on this distribution process can run a range in your estate plan. You can simply say that you want the tangible personal property distributed to these named individuals. You can appoint someone to help manage and oversee the distribution process. This may be the personal representative of your estate. You may also want to consider establishing an order for who can select the first item, who can select the next, and so on and so forth until it circles around the order enough times for all desired personal property to have been divided up. The remaining tangible personal property could be directed to be sold and the proceeds divided amongst the named heirs or you could have it donated to a favorite charity.
Estate Planning Attorney
Providing details as to how you want your tangible personal property distributed after you pass away can help streamline the process as well as encourage a conflict-free means of dividing things up. This is just one of the many ways you can help support your loved ones after you are gone. For assistance in establishing a comprehensive estate plan to help those you care about most, reach out to the team at Verras Law. Contact Verras Law today.