A recent Wall Street Journal article noted that boomers and seniors are more interested in leaving a legacy for future generations that extends beyond money by passing along family heirlooms and history.
Citing a 2012 survey by Allianz Life Insurance that found 86% of boomers and 74% of Americans aged 72+ said that the most important piece of their own legacies is keeping family history alive, the WSJ article also noted that family keepsakes and heirlooms are viewed by these groups as key inheritance items.
We understand how important passing on history and values is to families, and that is why we build Family Legacy Interviews into our planning process with all of our estate planning clients, at no extra fee. We just see it as part of what people need.
Unfortunately, disputes over family keepsakes are one of the most common causes of conflict among heirs. Here are some tips for helping to keep your family out of conflict over the things you (and they) love:
1. Decide who will get what when the time comes, and work out the details beforehand. Then make sure all of your choices are documented and why you chose as you did.
2. Have a complete estate plan that includes a memorandum that explains the specific bequests or consider including that in a recorded audio or video you leave to your family so they not only hear your voice, but the stories behind the mementoes as well as your desire for who gets what and why. We do this with you as part of our Family Legacy process.
3. You can give thought to who you designate to receive what without playing favorites.
4. To pass along family history and your values, consider creating an ethical will or Family Legacy Interview. This can take any form – a letter, a book, a website – and is not legally binding, but instead helps you pass on the intangibles that make each family unique – these are the things your family will most remember.
If you would like more information about passing on the things you love to the people you love, including your stories and values, call our office at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
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