Estate planning is important for everyone. This is true regardless of wealth, or lack thereof. Many people operate under the misconception that estate planning is only for those assets that hold substantial financial value and, thus, only those people with assets of substantial value need estate planning. There are a number of big reasons why everyone should estate plan regardless of an asset or income level. After all, estate planning can address your health care wishes and incapacity planning. It can state who you wish to act as guardian of your minor children in the event of your passing. Your estate plan can distribute your assets how you wish for them to be distributed. Assets do not have to be monetarily valuable to be important. They can carry great sentimental value. Don’t you want your sentimental treasures to pass to the right people after you die? Here’s how.
Providing for Assets with Sentimental Value in Your Estate Plan
From photographs to other things memorializing your family history, assets with sentimental value are important to account for in an estate plan. Unfortunately, this is commonly overlooked and family squabbles after a loved one’s death can easily ensue. When emotions run high after a loved one dies, the treasured salt shaker collection of your grandmother can quickly become the bone of contention. With everyone angling for an item to best remember a loved one by, failing to have a distribution plan in place establishing who is to get what can spell disaster for your loved ones after you are gone.
Instead of a free for all, where your loved ones grapple with one another to get some of your treasured items, consider providing for your assets with sentimental value in your estate plan. This means that your wishes for your sentimental assets will be honored after you pass. With your estate plan accounting for these items, it is also likely to help prevent family fights over them. This can help avoid costly, time-consuming, and stressful litigation.
While most assets that carry significant monetary value, such as real property and financial accounts and holdings, should be explicitly provided for in your will or trust documents, those assets which hold sentimental value can be easily accounted for in something like a personal property memorandum. A personal property memorandum acts as a kind of addendum to your will or trust documents. In the memorandum, you can list the personal property which you want to designate to pass to certain people. You list the item and the person who should take ownership of the item after you die. Should you wish to provide an explanation of the item’s history or why you wish it to go to a particular person, you can also include this in the memorandum.
A personal property memorandum has many benefits. One such benefit is the fact that you can more easily amend this document. You can add to and make changes to a personal property memorandum without the need to observe such formalities as would be necessary to amend something like your will.
Florida Estate Planning Attorney
For a strong estate plan that allows you to rest easy knowing will protect your wishes, do not hesitate to reach out to the team of dedicated estate planning attorneys at Verras Law. Contact Verras Law today.