In estate planning, there is an emphasis on financial assets, home property, and power of attorney. However, there needs to be an emphasis on effectively passing on family heirlooms. In fact, many disputes concerning an estate do not center on financially-valuable items, but rather treasured family possessions. Think of it this way: money can be divided fairly easily, but the necklace that your mother always wore can be considered invaluable to her children and grandchildren (even if the actual dollar value of the necklace is less than $100).

Surveys have shown that approximately 86 percent of baby boomers and nearly 75 percent of Americans over the age of 72 revealed that keeping their familial history going after they are gone was extremely important.

Despite this data, people routinely neglect recording their family history and accomplishments throughout their life.

Suggestions for Effectively Passing on Heirlooms and Keeping Your Family Out of Conflict

Here are three tips for the transfer of precious family heirlooms to your loved ones.

  1. Make sure your estate plan includes a memo written by you explaining why you made the specific heirloom bequests.
  2. Be proactive and have discussions with family members about who will receive which heirlooms when the time comes. Giving the affected family members forewarning is an effective strategy for reducing any estate disputes.  
  3. Consider making a recorded audio or video that you can leave to your loved ones so they can hear your voice and your expressions about your valued memories and experiences. Other ways to effectively convey your advice, memories, and tutelage involving creating a book or a website to pass along.

Experienced Renton Estate Planning Lawyer Ready to Help

Effective estate planning needs to include both financial planning and heirloom planning. Both aspects of your estate deserve care and attention. This is why it makes sense to contact the Law Offices of Dan Kellogg PLLC. For more than four decades, Dan Kellogg has been practicing law throughout King County and Washington. Over the past 25 years, he has focused on estate planning. Contact the law office today to schedule a confidential, one-on-one meeting.