A lot of people make estate planning assumptions that are a bit self-serving. Since you have an emotional investment in your belongings, you may assume that your children are on the same page. In reality, this may not be the case at all.
The house that you live in may be the same property that your children grew up in, and it is a repository of many cherished memories. Even if this is not the case, you chose the home because it appeals to your sensibilities, and it is a source of pride.
Money is just that, but your home is something special. This can lead to the belief that you should leave the property to your children so that they can start to enjoy it.
In reality, this may not be the best idea. If you have multiple children that are going to inherit the property, there is no way of dividing it appropriately. Of course, you can leave it to a particular child, but they may not have the heart to tell you that they would prefer something else.
If you are staying in the house because you want to be able to pass it along even though downsizing would make sense, you may want to reconsider.
And if you remain in the home for your own reasons, you may want to go forward with the expectation that your children will sell the home after your passing and split the proceeds.
Then there is your second home that you visit when you are on vacation. This can seem like the ideal property to pass on to your children, because they can use it as a timeshare of sorts. They would all be able to spend equal amounts of time getting much needed rest and relaxation.
Once again, they may have different ideas. People live busy lives, and vacation time is at a premium. Plus, are you sure that all of your children will spend their precious free time at this particular location?
There is also the matter of priorities. Some people are simply not in a financial position to maintain partial ownership of a valuable piece of vacation property. The funds could be used to send a child to college or expand a business.
Liquidation can be a better choice, either while you are living or when your estate is being administered. In this manner, your children can use the proceeds as they see fit.
You may have spent a lifetime collecting certain items. It could be musical instruments, classic cars, or a compendium of antiques. These items were hard-to-find, and you know that the value will rise in many instances.
Your family on the other hand may not share your passion for these items, even if they appreciate them. Plus, they probably do not have the expertise that it takes to understand the value of the collectibles, and this can put them in a vulnerable position in the marketplace.
If you have ever watched the American Pickers television show, you have seen depictions of families that are left with huge collections, and they are overwhelmed.
You have the knowledge that it takes to liquidate the assets properly, and you can find buyers that share your passion for these particular collectibles.
Enjoy the Experience
Letting go and liquidating can seem like a very difficult task, but you can actually enjoy the experience if you look at it right. You will feel a sense of closure as you reminisce with regard to your real property, and the other items will certainly bring back memories.
As the objects start to thin out, the load will be lightened, and there will be less clutter. You will breathe a sigh of relief, and your children will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
Take Action Today!
If you are going through life without an estate plan, today is the day for action. You can schedule a consultation at our Los Angeles estate planning office if you call us at 310-337-7696, and you can use our contact form if you would rather send us a message.