To prevent hurt feelings and misunderstandings, it is recommended that you make distribution of these personal items part of your estate plan.

Do you need to include everything, from your favorite coffee mug to great grandfather’s socket wrench set? No, but you should include items that you know are important to family members.

Have a discussion with your children well in advance, particularly if you think that more than one of them is interested in an item. If you have a library that they treasure, make a list of the books and plan out who should get which volumes, and make this information part of your estate plan.

Planning in advance will eliminate or at least lessen the amount of acrimony surrounding possessions. Often, family members are not really arguing about a soup tureen – they are grieving, and this is one way that people express their grief. You can try to make it easier for those you love by planning in advance.

Contact an estate planning attorney to help plan this important part of your estate.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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