Presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning
No, not online shopping. Why not give some of your memorabilia to family and friends now so that you can see their delight? No need to wait until your Will is read.
Keep in mind:
- You will know that it went to exactly the right relative or friend.
- You don’t have to worry about a second spouse not knowing the nostalgic significance that certain memorabilia holds for family members. One lady was delighted to inherit her grandmother’s wooden flour sifter.
- You avoid the greedy relative who thinks that she should receive something she gave you thirty years ago. Wills have been contested over stranger things.
- Downsizing your memorabilia will make it easier if you decide to move to a smaller living space.
- Settling your estate will be easier without a long list of memorabilia in your Will.
- You avoid needing to update your will when your possessions change. One poor executor spent weeks trying to find a fur coat itemized in a Will, only to discover that it was given to another relative four years prior.
Old photos may be of more interest than you think, especially if you document the occasions and relatives on them. One lady in her nineties and her daughter sorted her voluminous pictures into a dozen envelopes and mailed them to relatives. The families were delighted to get pictures of their ancestors that they had never seen. Just think – no wrapping paper or bows required.
One lady in her late eighties with very poor eyesight had her caregiver hand her each piece of her crystal collection so that she could feel them individually. The caregiver added masking tape labels marking which grandson was to receive each piece. The grandsons’ wives were delighted and continue to use the crystal decades later.
For items you are still enjoying, the best way to distribute them is still not in your Will. However, if you want to make your bequests legally binding, make sure your Will or Trust states that there is a personal memorandum listing the items and the beneficiaries. As time passes, you can update the memorandum without redoing your Will or Trust.
-Melanie B. Holliman, JD
Partner, Bradford & Holliman
Estate Planning, Trusts & Special Needs
No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.