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Have You Created a Plan to Distribute Your "Stuff?"

By January 6, 2013Estate Planning

When we think about estate planning and preparing for where our monetary estate goes after we pass away, are we forgetting about our non-financial assets? Examples of non-financial assets could be the family cheese log recipe, the antique piano, great-grandmother’s cuckoo  clock, etc. These assets are not like bank and investment accounts because they don’t have titles or account numbers.

Should we plan for where our non-financial assets go after we pass away? The answer is yes! However, planning for non-financial assets seldom occurs. Often people think about doing it, but never get around to it. When this lack of planning happens, contention can arise between family members arguing over your various “stuff.” Sometimes the argument over “stuff” ends up in the lap of a judge who has to determine where the non-financial assets should go. The court process is never cheap and wastes the money from the estate, and the beneficiaries.

What planning could be done to avoid the possibility of dividing the family or involving a court process?  The planning for non-financial assets is very simple and entails a basic 3 step process which can be done without any legal assistance. First, on paper simply describe the non-financial asset.  Second, identify who shall receive the particular asset when you pass away. And finally, sign and date this list.

The completed list of non-financial assets should be placed with your Revocable Living Trust or Last Will, so that your family members will easily locate it. It’s important on a yearly basis to review all estate planning documents you have, either for law changes or personal changes; and it is equally important to review the non-financial asset list regularly as well.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an MH estate planning attorney, contact our office at 888.222.1328.

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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