Create an Effective Orange County Estate Plan with Personal Property

As clients work to create an estate plan in Orange County, personal property may sometimes be overlooked. This is because clients tend to focus on larger, more obvious estate planning tasks, such as dealing with real estate or appointing a guardian for minor children. Personal property may have significant sentimental value to the beneficiaries, however. If this type of asset is not properly handled, the trust may be harmed by the costs and expenses that result. As you create your estate plan, carefully consider the following points pertaining to personal property:

  • Multiple beneficiaries may want the same item of personal property.
  • If items are distributed to specific, named individuals, consider whether they are of equal or similar financial value, if an equitable distribution is an important goal of your estate plan.
  • If the recipient of your personal property is a minor, consider whether it should be distributed to a guardian or held in trust.
  • Ensure that your living trust and will each contain provisions allowing your trustee or personal representative to hold, manage, sell, and distribute items of personal property.
  • Consider how the expenses of managing and distributing items of personal property should be paid.
  • If you are utilizing a separate list or memorandum to provide instructions about the distribution of personal property, ensure that it is kept in a safe place that is known to the trustee.
  • Consider leaving specific instructions for less obvious items of personal property, such as season tickets or frequent flyer miles.
  • If recommended by your attorney, ensure that you take the necessary steps to transfer the personal property to the trust as you create your estate plan in Orange County.

When you create an estate plan in California, your attorney may advise you to consider using a living trust. Our guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust - In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes, provides helpful information about how this estate planning tool is used. To learn more, contact an experienced Orange County estate planning lawyer today at (714) 459-5481.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm