Parents often believe that their children will come to an agreement over the division and distribution of the household goods, family memorabilia and personal effects which they have accumulated over the years when the parents are gone. However, many families find themselves embroiled in arguments over those very items. “Grandma’s pie plate was promised to me!” one family member will argue. “No, Mom always told me that would go to me,” another chimes in.
These situations are preventable with good estate planning. Some parents will discuss these matters with their children (and grandchildren) before they have an estate plan prepared, and those conversations can be very telling. Parents often tell me that they were astonished at how much the “little stuff” around the house meant to their offspring. The economic value of the items doesn’t matter as much as the sentimental or emotional attachment to those items, in many cases.
Spelling out specifically what items will pass to which child may ward off such arguments and save the family time, expense and anxiety when the parents are gone.
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