How Can I Protect My Family Heirlooms?

Say, for instance, that your parents passed down family heirlooms to you that you wish to pass down to your own children someday. Or say that you have acquired certain valuables that have piqued the interest of one of your loved ones. For reasons like these, it may be in your best interest to include these valuables in your estate plan. Read on to discover how to protect your family heirlooms in your will and how a seasoned wills attorney in Monmouth County, NJ, of Margaret M. Mahon, Esq., LLC, can guide you in doing so.

What are examples of family heirlooms?

Essentially, a family heirloom is an item that may connect your family’s past with the present to keep its story alive. Usually, this item is passed down in a family for generations to accomplish this effect.

A common misconception is that family heirlooms must carry significant monetary value. While this may be true, an item may simply hold sentimental value to you and your loved ones. In either case, this item may be worth keeping in the family.

Some examples of family heirlooms that you may have in your possession are as follows:

  • Jewelry (i.e., antique lockets or brooches) or costume jewelry (i.e., necklaces, bracelets, and earrings) that once belonged to your grandmother.
  • Art (i.e., sculptures or paintings) or decorations (i.e., hand-drawn art) that once hung on your parents’ walls.
  • China (i.e., wedding china) or dishes (i.e., pottery dinnerware) that was once used during the holidays by your family members.

How can I protect my family heirlooms in my will?

You may not want your family heirlooms to be sold or donated without the ability for your heirs who value them to receive the items. Additionally, you do not want family members to fight over particular items.

To avoid this, you should incorporate these items into your will or trust. Simply put, a legally valid and enforceable will may allow these items to go where you intend. In this legal document, you may express your wishes to pass your family heirlooms to your children, distant relatives, close friends, favorited charities, or otherwise.

It is recommended to reference a memorandum for personal property in your will that you will leave with your will or trust so that these items will pass to the individuals who will appreciate them. If you have a memorandum, then you need not amend your will in the event of any changes, you would simply amend the memorandum. Anything not included in your memorandum would pass by the residuary provisions of your will or trust.

Whether it be a will or a trust, if an estate plan is something that you wish to begin today, then you must retain the services of a competent Monmouth County estate planning attorney from Margaret M. Mahon, Esq., LLC. We await sitting down with you at your initial consultation.