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Why you should be thinking about heirlooms in estate planning?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2018 | Estate Planning

When deciding what assets to leave heirs, some property can be relatively straightforward. Things like insurance benefits, cash, bonds and stocks all have a concrete value that can be measured and distributed accordingly to a person’s preference. But what about property that is not so easy to address? When dealing with things like art, jewelry or heirloom items, people in Lake Charles may want to take extra care during estate planning.

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make when dealing with these types of assets is to ignore them completely. Some may hope that heirs will work out who gets what among themselves, with one person taking his or her favorite piece of art and another taking a coveted heirloom dining table. Unfortunately, this hope is usually not a reality.

To avoid potential fights or an unequal distribution after death, individuals should start with assessing the value of these assets. From there, finding out which heirs are interested in the property is a good idea, and some people might even discover that what they thought would be a hotly contested item is only really desired by a single person. After that, a person should determine the best way to pass on the asset. Is a will sufficient, or would a trust be more efficient for tax purposes?

Most people in Lake Charles amass many items of personal and individual value over their lifetimes. It is important to include these items in estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, to ensure the proper passage of property to heirs. Not doing so can lead to potential problems during probate or fighting among family members as they try to figure out exactly who gets to keep what property.