How Family Heirlooms Fit Into Your Estate Plan

older man and younger man looking at military heirloom and smiling

Family heirlooms are incredibly special objects that hold sentimental, and likely financial value. Unfortunately, these items are also the source of many family disputes. If the current holder of the heirloom passes away before giving clear instruction of who should receive the heirloom next, this can lead to a quarrel within the family. If you have valuable objects that have been passed down in your family for generations, you want to make sure they are protected within your estate plan.

Protecting Heirlooms in Your Will

Some individuals choose to pass their family heirlooms along prior to their passing. However, many others choose to wait and have the item exchange hands once they are gone. No matter which avenue you choose, you should still have clearly written instructions in your will. Write in detail about which family member should receive each heirloom. Once this information is laid out in your formal will, the court will uphold it, should any disputes arise.

Additional Considerations

As you decide how you want to distribute your family heirlooms, here are some other things you should keep in mind.

  • The value of the heirlooms: it could be beneficial to have your heirlooms appraised. This will give you a clear idea of how much financial value they each hold, and could determine how you pass them on. You may also find that some heirlooms hold no value, and you may decide they aren’t worth holding onto.
  • Keeping it even: if you have multiple heirlooms, make sure to distribute them evenly among your beneficiaries. If one person receives everything, the others could feel insulted, resentful, and even bitter toward that family member.
  • Talk to your relatives: ask your family members what objects they want. This could make distributing them really simple if you find that each family member wants different heirlooms. If they want the same heirlooms, you can discuss this with them and work toward an agreement.

Texas Estate Planning Attorneys

Having a detailed estate plan will benefit your family in the future. To get started drafting your will, or if you’re considering making changes to your current plan, contact DebnamRust, P.C.. Our estate planning attorneys can provide invaluable guidance and assistance.