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Why talk to your children about your possessions?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Estate Planning

If you are still in the house where you once raised your kids, you probably have a lot of excess “stuff”. You might have books that no one has read in years, clothes that no one fits into any longer and furniture in rooms that no one enters except to dust.

If you (and your spouse if you have one) were to die tomorrow, the house and its contents would probably go to your children – unless your estate plan says differently. That will leave them with the arduous task of sorting through everything and deciding what to keep and what to throw.

Your kids might not want many of your possessions

Most children do not want to inherit all of their parent’s physical possessions. They might be delighted to inherit the house or a few cherished items from it, but not the majority of the contents.

If your children live in a city apartment, they’re unlikely to have room for much more. Even if they have space and do not yet have a dining table, they might not like the style of the one you have.

Talking to your children now will make it easier for them

Asking your children to tell you what they would like when you die allows you to allocate particular possessions to particular children (or others) in your estate plan. You can then leave clear instructions about what happens to the rest to avoid your children feeling they ought to keep a thing, even though they’ve no place or desire for it. It will be free to sell or give away everything else without guilt. Once you determine what they want, get help to document it all in your estate plan.