Estate planning is often thought of as an exercise in deciding who gets what, and when you make your decisions, you put them in writing. This is definitely part of the equation, but there are some additional considerations that involve the potential recipients.
There are many collectors out there, and if you are one of them, your collection probably means a lot to you. It may be books, classic cars, musical instruments, or a wide range of antiques, and you invariably gain a lot of expertise over the years when you have a particular passion.
Sometimes children will pick up on their parents’ interests, but this is not always the case. If you are in possession of a collection, and you know that you are children aren’t into the same things, you have a decision to make.
If you have watched a few American Pickers episodes on the History Channel, you have invariably seen children that inherit large collections. In a lot of cases, the inheritors have no intention of keeping the objects, and they don’t know much about them.
A layperson is simply not going to know the value of a 1923 Indian Chief head cylinder or a 1964 Gibson Barney Kessel jazz guitar. You should definitely keep this in mind and recognize the fact that you would be doing your family a service if you liquidate the items at some point.
On the plus side, you get an infusion of cash that you can use in any way that you choose, and you are passing the items along to people that can genuinely appreciate them.
In a perfect world, you may want to keep your home in the family. If you raised your children in the home, everyone may have some type of emotional connection to the property, so it can hard to let it go.
However, it does not always work that way. You may feel attached, but your children may not have the same feelings. There is also the matter of the respective ownership interests if you do in fact have multiple children.
Communication can go a long way if everyone is capable of being honest and fair-minded, but this dynamic does not always exist. The suggestion here is to be willing to accept the fact that you may be the last family member to reside in the home.
A vacation home can seem like the perfect piece of property to leave to your children collectively. They can all enjoy their fair share of time in the house, and perhaps they could all get together to reminisce and strengthen the fabric of their relationships with one another.
This is all possible, but once again, it is wise to view the matter pragmatically. People live busy lives, and vacation time is scarce. Different destinations may be more appealing during these limited windows of opportunity, and the home may not get too much use.
If you liquidate the property while you are still living, you can do some splurging and set aside the rest for loved ones to use in any way that they see fit when they receive their inheritances.
Enjoy the Process
This does not have to be a gloom and doom process by any stretch of the imagination. It can simply be looked upon as part of the natural progression of life, and it can be liberating to start to rid yourself of attachments.
These acts of letting go will yield practical benefits as you live more efficiently, and the exercise can help you come to terms with the ultimate liberation.
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