If you're like many people, the things you own are merely things — except for those belongings that carry great personal significance to you. As you survey your assets and evaluate an estate plan, you may realize that you have certain possessions you want to ensure receive proper love and care after you pass away.
Estate planning is not just about leaving money to your heirs, it is also about establishing your legacy. For most people, a legacy is not merely about money, but about more specific things that speak to a person's interests and passions.
If you have belongings that you care for dearly, be sure that your estate plan reflects this and prepares properly so that someone else can carry on that care after you no longer can.
Pets and estate planning
It is strange for many people with pets to think of their animal friends as property. However, under the current laws, pets are property as much as a television is property. In divorce scenarios, this often causes great frustration.
If you have a pet, willing them to another person is not terribly difficult, unless the pet is exceptionally valuable. The upkeep of the pet, however, requires taking much greater care. While willing property directly to your pet is not usually possible, you can circumvent this by establishing a trust to provide for the upkeep of the pet. This way, not only can someone else love and care for your pet, but also have the resources to give it the care you know it deserves.
Collections and estate planning
Any collector is likely to tell you that, at a certain point, a person can begin to feel a form of a relationship with a collection. The subject of the collection is irrelevant for the most part, but the principle remains the same.
If you own a collection you want to ensure receives proper care after you pass away, you have a few options.
The most straightforward course of action is usually to gift the collection to a friend or relative. However, if the collection is one that requires certain upkeep, you might want to consider ways you can offer some compensation to the recipient.
Also, depending on the nature of the collection, you may find a museum interested in it. While no one will probably ever love your collection the same way that you do, you can still do your part to ensure that it receives proper care and attention.
Is your estate plan ready?
If you're reading this, there is a high likelihood that your estate plan is not as strong as it could be. Don't hesitate to reach out an experienced estate planner to ensure that the creatures and collections you cherish receive proper provisions when you leave them behind.