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Family Feuds – When Estate Property Grows Legs

Tangible propertyUnlike financial assets, which can generally be divided easily amongst heirs, tangible personal property is unique. And the complexity of distributing a lifetime’s worth of possessions is something that many people overlook.

Sometimes, planning for the money and liquid assets in your estate can actually be the easiest part. While that does mean dealing with myriad legal codes and taxes, nevertheless, liquid assets are conceptual and easily divided. What happens when the most important assets are tangible?

Unfortunately, tangible assets usually are the most important to your family and, as Deborah Jacobs pointed out, are easily the ones to tear apart a family. The case she discusses is how a plastic bowl tore three grandchildren apart.   Of course, this particular bowl wasn’t just any bowl… it was the bowl she had always used to feed them breakfast when they stayed over as children. Family attachments are really hard to quantify, as there’s no science to it, no calculator to cheat by, and not even the IRS issues guidelines.

When it is all said and done, it’s the family attachments you’re planning for in the first place. Therefore, in order to plan properly, first you need to understand your family. It could be a small plastic bowl, or it could be something even more complicated like a painting, a gun collection, or the family cottage.

Proper planning ought to include discussing these issues with your family and then making. Communication is key. Remember: The IRS may define an “asset” entirely differently from how you and your family would define it.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: Forbes (October 24, 2011) “Little Things Can Cause Big Fights When A Relative Dies

 

 

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.