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  • Writer's pictureCook Tillman

Singular estate planning focus: distinct personal property

The relevant details surrounding an existing bank account are likely to be pretty clear when it comes time to administer a given estate.

How about that pricey art collection hanging on the walls of a Tennessee home, though? What about a vast horde of antiques that have been in the family for generations? Coin and stamp collections, a vintage assortment of rifles long held as collectibles, fine jewelry: How will such assets be valued and accounted for during the estate administration process?

That is the question squarely posed in a recent Forbes article that spotlights individuals and families with “a tendency to collect interesting and often valuable items.” The publication stresses that such personal property “can pose an added layer of estate planning complexity.”

That doesn’t have to be the case, though, especially for planners who, well, plan. That means putting a timely and periodically updated focus on what and where those items are and who they are ultimately intended for. And, of course, it implies their adequate safeguarding and legal documentation that clearly conveys a planner’s intent regarding their future disposition.

Securing that optimal outcome is of course more difficult when passivity prevails. As Forbes notes, valued personal property that is not diligently tracked and recorded tends to get lost, pilfered or even forgotten. Moreover, it can lose luster when ignored over time.

Consultation with proven estate planning attorneys can help a planner craft a sound and safe plan regarding key family possessions. A smartly tailored strategy can ensure that they are preserved, fully documented and passed down through future generations.


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