Although it may not be at the forefront of our minds, it can be important to establish a comprehensive estate plan to ensure that your wishes are known and carried out in the unfortunate event of your death. Did you know that there are different types of property that should be addressed in your estate plan? “Tangible property,” a category of assets that you will need to understand when creating an estate plan, is generally defined as any property, other than cash or land, that you can physically touch.
Tangible property can often be overlooked in future plans, so it may be important to contact an estate planning attorney to help you navigate how to identify and define your tangible property when you are outlining how you want your property disposed of. Let us review three key questions that you should keep in mind and discuss with your attorney:
1. What are the items that carry a high monetary value? Identifying these items may not only help you specify beneficiaries for these items, but it may also enable your attorney to identify whether any gifts will be subject to additional taxes or have other consequences.
2. What are the items that carry a high emotional value? Surprisingly, a great source of conflict amongst family members is how to divide up sentimental items or family heirlooms. To avoid these conflicts, identify items of tangible property that you believe may spark emotional attachment and clearly designate beneficiaries so everyone understands your wishes regarding how these items should be passed down.
3. How should I define “tangible property” in my estate planning documents? There may be property that you want to include or exclude from the definition of tangible property. As mentioned above, “tangible property” generally means any personal property that you can touch. Assets like frequent flyer miles and season tickets might not so clearly fall into or out of the “tangible property” category. In those types of circumstances, you may want to draft a definition of tangible property that makes clear whether you consider those items “tangible property” and want them to pass along with the other tangible property in your will or other estate planning document.
For more guidance on important estate planning matters, our office is here to assist. Please get in touch with us today to schedule a meeting.