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Ways To Protect Family Heirlooms For Peace Of Mind

You have probably heard at least one or two stories in your lifetime where families are feuding over items left behind by a loved one who passed away. While some of these arguments are fueled by greed part of it is the emotional attachment to the belongings and its connection to the loved ones they lost. In any event, you don’t want your family fighting at a time when they should be comforting each other. 

Ways To Protect Family Heirlooms For Peace Of Mind

The best way to get peace of mind and to reduce the family disagreements after your passing is to include your family heirlooms in a will. 

Start With a List

Start by writing all the things that are significant to you that you’d like to pass down to members of your family. On your list write down the names of the relatives you wish to have these things after you’re gone. 

Have a Conversation

Now that you have an idea of who you’d like to get which of the family heirlooms you should have a conversation. Talk with your children, spouse, and other immediate family to explain which items are specifically for them and why you’ve chosen things to go in that order. For instance, you might want to give your daughter some estate jewelry that used to be your mother’s so she can pass it down to her children one day. Letting them hear this from you while you’re here makes it a lot easier for them to honor your wishes once you’re gone. This is also a good time for your family to voice their opinion on things they value and treasure and would like to receive one day. 

Add it to Your Will

The next step would be making it legal and official by adding your family heirlooms to your will. Your will serves as your last wishes and makes things a lot easier for your loved ones after your passing. You can provide specific details on which heirlooms go to which family members and even what your wishes are (i.e. pass it down or sell it). You might want to have an estate attorney look it over to ensure you’ve clearly stated your desires and worded it in a manner that protects your possessions and your family. 

You might also consider adding a no-contest clause in your will. This is a clause that states that should any of your relatives try to fight the will they are no longer eligible to receive anything you’ve designated for them. It may seem harsh but in reality, it can save a lot of frustration for your loved ones.

Appoint an Executor

Another way to keep the peace when dividing up family heirlooms and other possessions is by appointing someone to be the executor of your estate. It is this person’s responsibility to manage your estate by dividing assets, paying debts, covering taxes, and more. While most people tend to ask their oldest child to carry out this task, you want to choose your executor wisely. It should be someone who is reliable, reasonable, and diligent in getting things done. This helps to keep tensions cool and get the process finished faster. 

Have an Estate Auction

Here’s another creative idea to make sure your family gets to keep your heirlooms, an estate auction. This is essentially where heirlooms and other items from your estate are put up for auction. Your family members are then allowed to place bids for the items using funds that you have left behind for them. This way, whoever is most interested in the keepsake can get it fair and square. 

Give Them Away Now

Another option you have for items that you know may cause a dispute is to give your relatives their family heirlooms while you’re alive. You can then give it in a special manner providing them with stories and other information about the treasure you’ve provided them. 

It’s unfortunate that the passing of a loved one can make family members act so crazy. While most are acting on pure emotion from the loss, some disagreements can get so out of hand that it takes years to settle. Not to mention, it also ruins relationships and makes the grieving process a lot more difficult to get through. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and put plan ahead using resources like a will and trustee to hand down family heirlooms. 

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