Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Have your ever planned an estate?
Granted, it’s one of the least fun things to do, but the experts, say, “Aside from the many legal benefits, planning your estate is truly a selfless act. If you are without a plan, you leave your heirs wondering about your wishes, which can lead to problems and infighting. When you take the time to plan your estate, you remove that burden from them by letting them know exactly what you want.” It doesn’t matter if you’re single, have minimal assets, whatever, and put a plan in writing.
Oh come on now, this is not reality. No matter your amount of wealth and worldly goods when you croak, the remainders of your family and friends are going to scrap over what is left.
You can itemize every item and assign it to a cousin or aunt or brother or sister or son or daughter or maybe a fellow work mate or just some bum on the street, but it will be contested. Unless it is a load of cash, no one wants your leftovers.
That wonderful antique plate you leave to your Goth daughter will have no meaning. The book of poetry to your nephew won’t mean much when they are eyeing the grand piano in the corner. Grandmother’s quilt was assigned to Mary but Susan really wanted it. Heirs become vultures at death.
So why not give everything away before your demise? That way whatever story or important of the piece can be explained to the recipient for future generations. They may cherish it or just take it around the back to the trash, but it is out of your house and doesn’t need to be bothered with anymore.
This works well when someone states interest in a piece of furniture or artwork or item in the household that can be noted and later donated. Does that cut out someone else that might also have been interested in that item but never said anything? First come, first serve.
For after you die and the body is disposed of, the family ravages your belongings from your dirty underwear to your golden wristwatch. Little items you held dear will either be welcomed to a new home or discarded for every item has a story.
Photos are probably the best example of heirlooms. Like family Bibles, photo collections are passed down from generation to generation. It is part of the hierarchy.
Yet after a few generations, no one can remember who Uncle Clifford was or where Aunt Thelma lived. Plus there are all those fuzzy photos of people no one now can remember names or associations. Maybe mom or dad had a story attached to the photo but it was never discussed or written down so they are just strangers.
So with all the lawyers and fees and well-being about writing a will, in the end, there is a feeding frenzy to get your stuff.

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