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Don’t forget small personal assets when estate planning

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is a very personal process, which means that everyone has their own priorities and goals. People have different wishes that depend on their family relationships, religion, political beliefs and personal holdings.

Individuals with significant personal assets often address their most valuable property their main priority during a estate planning. They want to ensure that the right person inherits their home and their financial accounts. Prioritizing the most valuable property during estate planning is common because people want to control what happens with that property and prevent their loved ones from fighting over their resources.

However, some people make a mistake when estate planning by only addressing their highly valuable property. Individuals also need to think about less valuable, but perhaps more meaningful, personal property as well.

What personal property should someone address?

Ideally, estate planning documents will include instructions for all of someone’s property, even items that don’t have much financial value. People even need to include assets that they believe their loved ones will have no interest in inheriting. Assets that people often overlook include their wardrobes, home furnishings, collections and even supplies for hobbies or secondary professions. Any of those assets could trigger conflicts among someone’s beneficiaries if an individual fails to address them in their estate planning paperwork.

How do people manage their personal property?

In some cases, individuals make sweeping statements about certain types of personal property in their wills. For example, they might bequeath their home furnishings and cookware to one grandchild while leaving their hobby equipment to a friend who enjoys the same pursuit. Other times, they may choose to instead address all of their residual estate in the same manner. Frequently, testators leave instructions for the personal representative of their Colorado estates to sell any resources not specifically identified elsewhere in a will or trust. They can then distribute the money gained from the estate sale among specific beneficiaries.

Although personal property may not be worth nearly as much as real property and other holdings, it can still trigger conflict among loved ones and issues during estate administration. Creating thorough and comprehensive estate planning paperwork can, therefore, help family members after someone’s death and strengthen an individual’s legacy.