On May 2, 2014

Many Denver residents have collectibles such as vintage dolls, wartime stamps or gold coins. They want to pass these on to future generations in a will.

Some items offered to heirs have sentimental value in addition to monetary value. For instance, many people have a family wedding ring they pass down to a son or daughter when they get married. Otherwise, maybe a necklace, locket or pocket watch stays in the family. Then, one day the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will hold onto the items just like the original family did. In some cases, inheritable possessions might eventually end up in a museum or charity. Likewise, many people designate large sums of money accumulated in investment funds for donation to non-profit organizations once they pass away.

One way to decide who will receive what belongings is to find out what relatives might want them. It’s also possible to figure out how to distribute assets based on the projected need of heirs. For instance, maybe one of the sons or daughters works 10 hours per day but only makes eight dollars per hour. This person might appreciate items they can easily liquidate so they can raise money to invest in a home or car. Otherwise, some people might prefer just to keep some of the valuable aged photo frames that have sentimental value. Estate owners might even decide to hold onto items for some years after creating a will and distributing them while still alive. Stipulations might also take place according to when a person creating a will reaches a certain age or is medically incapacitated.

Whatever the case may be, prompt estate planning can squelch disagreements that often arise among relatives. It may not resolve all issues, but it can save relationships from being destroyed in arguments over how to divide an estate.

Source: Kiplinger, “Leaving a Collection to Your Heirs“, Vickie Elmer, April 25, 2014

Categories: Estate Planning

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