Sometimes it is not the big assets such as your home or checking account that cause fights among relative when an estate is divided. Choosing what to do with your personal items such as your preferred piece jewelry that has been handed down from six generations is what many people consider when they make an estate plan.
Although many people should be fretted about the big assets such as your house or the retirement accounts, there is an inordinate amount invested focusing on small assets.
It is the smaller sized sentimental items that cause the most battles. These are the items that indicate more to private family members and the items that they are going to be most likely to fight about. This can be the piece of furniture promised to a child years ago or a gift from a child to a moms and dad that suggested a lot to them that they would like back. To make sure that a product goes to a possible successor it is best to give that individual the product as gift throughout lifetime, ensure that product is specifically called in the will, or even better to have a personal property memorandum or different list of who gets what. A personal effects memorandum allows you to call a particular product and who gets it. It must be referenced in your will, however after that you can alter or upgrade without a lawyer or notary. If a product is not gifted, pointed out in the will, or in the individual property memorandum it ends up being part of the residuary of the estate and will go to the individual called in the residuary no matter who it was assured to. This is when a family battle is probably to occur as a child will try to take an emotional product that belongs in the residuary of the estate and the individual representative of the estate tries to get it back.
Potential fights can be eliminated by planning ahead. To prevent this from occurring it is best to seek advice from an estate planning lawyer so the plan or action that you take in making your estate plan will not have the unintended consequence of ripping the family apart and causing a prolonged probate case and estate lawsuits. An estate planning lawyer can develop a plan that leaves everyone satisfied at finest and at worst prevent a battle or misconception amongst potential successors.