Heather talked about New Year’s resolutions in her December 2012 blog and how many people put estate planning on their list. My list for 2013 included purging! In my quest to clear out what we don’t use my daughter asked when I was going through my jewelry box. Honestly, that wasn’t on my radar but I thought great idea!
We took some “boy-free” time one Saturday afternoon pulled everything out, tried some things on and cleaned a few things out. I passed on a pair of earrings I was given as a little girl to my daughter. Later I was sharing my resolution and the small victories I had already achieved with some friends. One of my friends said her daughter often asks about her jewelry and she tells her “one day”. Later I was thinking, wonder what she means by “one day”? Maybe she means when her daughter is old enough, or at a certain occasion, like her wedding day or once she passed on, but does anyone know her intention and has she written it down somewhere?
If you have special items you want passed on to specific people, and maybe on specific occasions, use your estate plan to make your intentions known. If it is something of significant value it may be best to actually have it written in your living trust. For other things, equally important but a lesser monetary value, you may choose to use an estate planning letter indicating an item and a beneficiary to receive the item upon your death. Be sure to discuss this with your attorney as the value of items may affect how they can be distributed.
As you make your resolutions be sure to update your estate plan, or get started if you do not have one in place already.