Passing On Family Heirlooms & Keepsakes

People understandably overlook addressing more minor, personally meaningful items such as heirlooms and keepsakes when creating an estate plan. This oversight can be a fuse for family disputes.


While you’re in good health, get together with your personal representative and loved ones. See who wants what. For fairness, you might have each person pull a number from a hat and, in order, have them name one personal item they’d like. Write down their responses. Repeat as needed. You may find no one wants your grandmother’s crystal, your baseball card collection, etc. Work out any rivalry for an item now. Make clear that you’ll instruct your personal representative to liquidate items not on the list and distribute the cash or donate it to charity.


Schedule an appointment with your legal professional to amend your will or trust to spell out your bequests. Alternatively, many states let you draft a memo listing what you want to give and to whom. If the memo is incorporated in a will or trust, it’s legally binding. Sign and date it.