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Tracking personal property during estate planning

Estate planning can be an enormously complex endeavor. This is especially true when an individual identifies a number of heirs and beneficiaries and there are significant assets with which to deal. However, while passing down retirement accounts and homes can be relatively easy, the matter can become even more detail-oriented when dealing with personal property.

One reason why dealing with personal property during estate planning can be challenging is because it is often hard to track. Property can be misplaced or lost, and family members can even snatch them up unbeknownst to the owner. In order to better track this property, individuals should consider keeping an inventory that includes appraisals and other property-related documents, such as letters of authentication. This way, the executor of an estate can easily identify property and its location prior to distributing assets in accordance with an estate plan.

Another way to ensure that personal property is protected pending distribution through an estate plan is to utilize protections such as insurance and even safes and safe deposit boxes. These, in conjunction with an inventory, can allow an individual to ensure that he or she will retain the value of the asset in question so that it isn’t pilfered or lost at an inopportune time. Another way to protect the value of these assets is to ensure that they are routinely valuated so that a current price can be given to it at the time an estate’s execution.

Estate planning can primarily focus on the distribution of assets after death, but even this seemingly simple task can prove challenging. Those who fail to give the attention to detail that this matter requires may wind up having their estate’s assets fall into undesirable hands. This is why it is often of critical importance to discuss these matters with a trusted estate planning attorney.