How can I protect family heirlooms?

jewelry family heirlooms

Many families pass down heirlooms from generation to generation after a loved one dies. These heirlooms may hold significant monetary value, prompting individuals to consider how to protect them for the future. It is critical to ensure that your heirlooms with sentimental value are included when estate planning. This will ensure your intended heirs receive these special items after you’ve departed. Contact an adept Montgomery County Estate Planning Attorney and continue reading to discover how to protect family heirlooms when estate planning. 

Should I protect family heirlooms when estate planning?

You may have acquired numerous treasured heirlooms during your life. When you accumulate personal assets as such, you must take the necessary steps when estate planning to protect them. When estate planning, there are two options to protect your heirlooms: creating a will or creating a trust.

A will is a legal document that allows you to dictate how your estate and assets will be distributed after you’ve departed. In a will, you can stipulate whether you want your heirlooms passed down to specific people. These people can be your children, grandchildren, relatives, friends, or charities. With a will, you can ensure that your family heirlooms will be distributed to whomever you designate to receive them. Individuals typically include the following family heirlooms in their will:

  • Jewelry
  • Fine art
  • Antiques
  • Photographs
  • Furniture

In some cases, your heirlooms may have significant monetary value. If this is the case, you may be better off creating a trust rather than a will. With a will, you cannot set conditions for distributing assets. You can’t keep your heirlooms out of probate if they are included in a will. However, when you create a trust, you control where your assets go. With a revocable trust, your family heirlooms will avoid probate and be exempt from taxes.

Furthermore, you can also protect family heirlooms by giving them to whom you intend to receive them during your lifetime. You don’t have to wait until you die to pass heirlooms to your loved ones. It can be beneficial to gift them during your lifetime to prevent family feuds over who gets to keep the sentimental asset. During your lifetime, you can explain why you want each person to have a particular item. If you do not like the idea of gifting family heirlooms during your lifetime, you can include them in a will or a trust and write a personal note with each item stipulating why you want them to have the heirloom.

If you are looking to protect your family heirlooms, contact a dedicated Montgomery County estate planning attorney. At JD Katz, we are prepared to help you protect your assets.