Estate planning for heirlooms is a heartfelt process. The stories behind your family heirlooms deserve a legacy. When that legacy is tied to the memory of you or another family member, it’s no wonder that family disputes sometimes arise over property with sentimental value.
Steps you can take to preserve heirlooms and protect loved ones from heartache
The grieving process is a time for families to connect and share life stories. Keeping these sentiments mutual and warm often depends on whether there is a good plan for transferring the assets of the estate. In Louisiana, estate planning and succession can involve a variety of tools to help you transfer your heirlooms to loved ones. The basic tool for that is, of course, a will. To be sure that your will clearly and effectively expresses your wishes regarding the transfer of property, it is always a good idea to work with an estate planning and succession attorney. There may also be other options that work for your particular situation — for example, a trust may be an effective tool for preserving the value of property for generations to come.
Accounting for sentimental value
When assessed in a financial market, some heirlooms may not have much value. However, they may still have sentimental value, and sentimental value can make the transfer of heirlooms a sensitive matter. To minimize the risk of heartache and confusion, it may be a good idea not only to list your heirlooms, but also to write down exactly why they have sentimental value, and exactly who in your family might appreciate that value the most. This can provide a valid reason for your decision to leave certain items of property to certain family members. Again, you should talk to an estate planning attorney about including your list of heirlooms in your will.
For more on these matters, please see our previous post: “Being transparent with your heirs.”