Many people in New Jersey have a will and other estate planning documents drafted and executed that they believe will provide for the disposition of their property after death. These documents may have provided for the big things, but it’s typically the small things that put heirs at odds. Every family has those little treasures that are seemingly unimportant until someone passes away.
A teacup, a picture frame, or even a well read book may not seem like treasures that need to be provided for in a will that disposes of assets worth thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. It just doesn’t seem rational to account for every little thing. However, people are often not rational when they are grieving.
Families have been torn apart over objects that the person they belonged to rarely even thought about when he or she was alive. It may be a good idea to sit down and discuss what objects each family member may want after death in order to avoid a family feud. This list could change as the years go by and the makeup of the family changes, so it may be best not to put these specific bequests into the will.
The will may refer to a separate document containing particular bequests to a person’s heirs. As long as the list is incorporated into the will be specific reference, the will should not have to be changed. Having a familiarity with the estate laws in New Jersey may ensure that all estate planning documentation is in compliance with current law. In the end, the care taken now can keep a family together later.
Source: newjerseynewsroom.com, “Who Inherits Dad’s Subscription to Giants’ Football Games?” Warren Boroson, May 9, 2013