When you think about inheritance, you might imagine a large sum of money or some valuable property that someone hands down to grateful beneficiaries. However, the fact is that not all property is desirable. In fact, some can create problems or financial demands that beneficiaries would rather not receive.
Taking a hard look at your property
If you have cash or a home, chances are they will be worth distributing to your children, grandchildren, and other beneficiaries in your estate plan.
However, try to be realistic. Regardless of the value or joy you might personally get from your property, your loved ones may not feel the same way. Think about the financial, logistical, and personal demands you could be passing on.
One article recently discussed six of the worst types of property to inherit, which include:
- Timeshares, which can tie beneficiaries to the high costs of these properties
- Collectibles that may or may not have significant value, which can be difficult to appraise or require considerable space and money to maintain
- Guns, which can present a serious safety risk and legal complications
- Businesses that heirs have no intention or desire to run
- Vacation property when you leave it to multiple parties who cannot agree on use, maintenance, and other aspects of joint ownership
- Personal property with sentimental value, because it can trigger familial conflicts and valuation issues
What if no one wants it?
If you determine that no one is eager to receive property, consider the alternatives for how to distribute it after death. You may decide to sell a property before you pass and leave the proceeds to heirs, or you could leave it to a charitable organization.
You could also inform your heirs that they can refuse an inheritance, hold an estate sale, or dispose of the property.
Considering these elements can help ensure that any gift you leave is, indeed, a gift.
If you believe you have property others may want to inherit, take steps now to make the distribution and valuation processes as easy and fair as possible. This can mean meeting with an attorney to examine estate planning strategies.