If you’re like most people, you have a lifetime’s worth of personal and family mementos in your home. Unless you have a specific plan for these most precious of items, however, your executor may be at a loss when it comes to handling them.
Here’s what you need to consider doing when it comes to your mementos:
1. Divide up the photos.
Family photos are a particular source of distress when a parent dies. You can make things easier for your heirs by making albums for each of them and dividing all the photos up fairly. If there are any particularly important photos, you can have copies made for each child.
2. Pass on as much as you can now.
A lot of older people choose to sort through their most cherished items and pass them on while they’re still alive. That’s often a “win-win” solution. You get to see the items safely to their new homes and your heirs get to express their appreciation to you while you’re living.
3. Donate or destroy what no one wants.
You can sell items of value or donate them to collections. Museums, historical societies and libraries are often looking for books, post cards, maps and uniforms. If it doesn’t bother you what happens to whatever is left, you can donate the items to a thrift store. If you don’t fancy the idea of your personal photos or mementos being fingered by strangers, you can simply destroy them.
There’s no one perfect solution for everyone when it comes to disposing of life’s most cherished mementos, but a little preplanning can help you take charge of the situation. For more estate planning advice, talk to an experienced attorney.