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Preventing Disputes Over Sentimental Assets

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyerWhen a person dies without a will or any other instruments of estate planning in place, his or her property will be distributed by the Probate Court in according with Illinois laws regarding intestate succession. Such cases often create significant disagreements among surviving family members. Of course, families may also fight when they discover what they are to receive in a will as well—and in some situations, things can get completely out of control.

More Than Money

While people often throw their familial allegiances to the wind and try to take as much as they can, family disputes on inheritance are not always about money. Conflict can arise for emotional reasons as well. While a grandson may not care to inherit a particular pie plate that his grandmother used for 30 years, for example, that same item could mean the world to someone else in the family. It is worth putting time and careful thought into your plan regarding who inherits the sentimental assets that you own. In doing so, there are a few things you should consider.

The Value of a Trust

While a person can leave property for their family through a standard will, that person can also consider creating a living trust. A living trust will help ensure that your assets are managed according to your wishes, and can allow your family to avoid having to go to Probate Court to determine each person’s inheritance. Establishing a trust can be complex, but the benefits of creating one can last for many years—generations, perhaps—following your death.

Have the Discussions

Before you decide how to divide your estate, you should consider talking with your family about your plans. Find out for certain if a particular loved one has a special connection to a specific asset of yours.  You may be surprised to discover some of the items that your family members hold as sentimental treasures. As you talk to your family about inheritance, you will also get to see the recipients enjoy their gifts. You will also have the opportunity to talk with them about the importance, history, and value of the item you are leaving them. Finally, you may have the chance to prevent future disagreements about particular pieces of property that more than one family member may want.

We Can Help

Although all inheritance decisions are ultimately your own, communicating and cooperating with your family on questions of inheritance can be an effective way to avoid serious problems in the future and may be a rewarding experience as well. If you have questions or are ready to begin the process, contact a Lombard estate planning lawyer. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 for an appointment today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5000000

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/man-convicted-for-throwing-mom-over-bannister-to-get-new-trial/

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