When an estate plan is created, there are many different ways it can be done. Most people focus on preparing the major assets they have such as real estate, investments, retirement plans, etc. While this is important, the smaller, more tangible assets with sentimental value should not be forgotten. This can consist of jewelry, pictures, antiques, etc. These items may not have a high monetary value but their emotional value is just as important.
When sentimental assets are left unplanned for, it often causes bigger issues than other assets. This is because loved ones tend to have emotional attachments to these items, leading to arguments and sometimes litigation regarding who they should belong to. By having a plan in place, hurt feelings or misunderstandings can be avoided. Continue reading below and contact an experienced Alabama estate planning attorney to learn more about how you can prepare these assets for the future.
How do I Distribute Assets Upon my Death?
When leaving behind cherished assets to loved ones in an estate plan, people may use a will or trust to do so. A will is a document that outlines an individual’s wishes for how they want their estate to be distributed in the event of their death. A trust is an agreement that allows a third-party to manage assets on behalf of a beneficiary until they can do so themselves.
What is a Personal Property Memorandum?
While wills and trusts can be beneficial for an estate, having many sentimental assets can make this difficult. Writing down every single asset you have in these documents can be overwhelming and time consuming. They can also become very lengthy as life goes on and you acquire various new assets. It is because of this that there are more convenient options available, such as using a personal property memorandum. Instead of writing down each individual asset, this document provides instruction on how tangible personal property should be distributed when it is not included in a trust or will.
When using a personal property memorandum, it is important to know that the document can be changed or added to at any time throughout your life. This can be done without formal amendments to a will. In doing so, it can be better to leave certain property within the will or trust, such as higher value items, gifts to non-family members, or gifts that are susceptible to challenge.
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Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.