Why address sentimental items in an estate plan?

Why address sentimental items in an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Estate Planning

When you start making an estate plan, odds are that you will think of your most valuable assets first. Who gets the family home? How do you divide up a life insurance policy? What happens to your investment portfolio or your bank accounts?

It is important to think about these types of items and to plan for how they will be passed on to your children and other beneficiaries. But don’t ignore items that have sentimental value. In fact, they may even be more likely to cause an estate dispute.

The problem with sentimental value

The issue here is that sentimental value can’t be divided like financial value. If you have two children and they both expect a payout from your life insurance policy, it is simple to name them both as beneficiaries. They divide the money in half and the odds of a dispute are low.

But what if those two children both want a book collection, an art collection, a parent’s wedding ring, a family Bible or furnishings and trinkets from around the home? Many of these things may have almost no financial value at all. Your children just want them because of the memories that are connected to them, especially memories of being younger with their parents.

If you don’t address these items in your estate plan, your children may not know how to divide them. Disputes are common and selling the items to split up the money isn’t beneficial, so there aren’t many solutions that will make everyone happy. That’s why planning in advance is so important, so be sure you know what legal steps to take.

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