We focus exclusively on Florida trust and estate law

Make sure your estate plan addresses sentimental value

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Estate Planning

As you make an estate plan, one of your top goals may be to reduce the odds of a dispute between your adult children. You know that it’s possible, and maybe you’ve seen it happen in other families. You do not want your estate to drive a wedge between your children.

As such, you try to address big ticket items that you think are a common source of conflict. Your estate plan clearly lists who gets the house, who gets the life insurance payout, what should be done with investments and bank accounts and much more. You don’t want your children to fight over money, so you put the most effort into the assets that are worth the most.

Why this may not be enough

It is important to do this, but it’s also wise to remember that it may not be enough to prevent all disputes. In some cases, adult children get into disputes over things that have sentimental value, even though they don’t have much financial value.

This can create a few problems. For one thing, these items that have sentimental value may not be worth very much. So your adult children don’t really have the option to sell the items that are in conflict and divide the money. This may be fair, but they’re not looking to get a few dollars. They want that specific item because of the sentimental connection.

Often, these disputes just come from the fact that multiple people want the same items and cannot agree on what their parents would have wanted – two children both remember Mom or Dad saying a book collection would go to them, for instance. 

Even though these items don’t have much financial value, making an estate plan to clearly assign them to specific beneficiaries is how you avoid these disputes. Take the time to look into all of the steps you’ll need to take.