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Sentimental value and estate planning

Nevada residents should include personal property in their estate planning documents. After a loved one passes, it is not uncommon for family conflicts to be centered on tangible personal property that belonged to the deceased and holds sentimental value. In order to prevent conflicts, individuals should avoid certain mistakes when bestowing personal property to surviving loved ones.

The sentimental value of personal items should be considered when planning one's estates. Individuals can ask their family members and close friends about which items they will want to receive. After deciding who will receive which items, individuals should make sure that the bequests are included in their wills with photographs of the items.

Not documenting a bequest is another mistake that should be avoided. A verbal promise of a deceased loved one can be challenged much easier than a promise that has been placed in writing.

Heirs should not be relied upon to distribute a deceased loved one's personal items as the loved one intended. Individuals who are concerned about how their personal items will be distributed should plan for the possibility that their heirs may not want to or may be unable to act according to their wishes. Bequests that are in writing can ensure that personal property is passed to the intended heirs.

It is also important to understand the difference between access and ownership. Having one's name on the lease for a safety deposit box does not automatically correspond to ownership of its contents.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may assist individuals with drafting their last will and testament. The attorney may advise of other estate planning tools, depending on the type of assets a client possesses and his or her goals for those assets. The attorney may also litigate to resolve issues regarding probate, fraud or undue influence.

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