America has entered and left the Age of Stuff. Generations that preceded us relied on their possessions to feed, clothe and house them by making household tasks easier or letting us be more efficient at work. But, in a time when most consumer products are disposable and many electronic devices fulfill multiple needs at once, people are less interested in dealing with their parents’ and grandparents’ possessions.
At the same time, many elders with large families may make rudimentary estate plans, but most of them do not include the details that can reduce burdens and conflicts for the inheriting generation. Some objects that do not seem to have intrinsic or emotional value to people may become the object of competition between children or cousins during a time of high emotional experience.
Estate plans must include specific documents with legal strength, such as a last will and testament. Instructions on administering trusts and allowing tenancies for properties may also be included. At the same time, plans to let people know what specific objects go to whom and instructions on how to reduce the burden that some material bequests can be.
These are the details that many people do not consider until it matters too much to solve problems easily or prevent them altogether. It pays to be sensitive when considering the end of a life that will affect many people left behind.
Estate planning with financial assets and real estate is often easier with the help of an attorney. A lawyer can help identify the requirements of a last will and testament as well as recommending other instruments that make estates easier to share out.