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yellow pie plate

Who will get Grandma's yellow pie plate?

Who will get Grandma's yellow pie plate?

Have you ever thought about where your personal belongings would go after you are gone? Have you started downsizing your house? Almost everyone has personal belongings such as photographs, jewelry, tools or simple everyday household items that hold meaning for them and for family members. You can make decisions now that will hopefully save family relationships later.

Many assume it isn't important or these things will just take care of themselves. However, experiences of family members and their attorneys suggest otherwise. Transferring non-titled property is an issue that impacts individuals regardless of financial worth, heritage or cultural background. Some families fight over things after a loved one is gone and never speak again. You know your family better than anyone but never think that it won't happen.

If there are items that you know you want to give someone; why not just give it to them now and enjoy them using it. If there are items that you currently use but you know who you want to give to others later, make plans now. Gifting before death is the most certain way to make sure items go to the intended recipients. While Illinois law does recognize a dated, signed list of personal property with the intended recipients identified, attorneys often advise you also list those items in your will. At a minimum, your will should include the statement that a list has been prepared and it is the giver's wish that distribution be made according to the list.

If you think that there is nothing that anyone would want – you may be surprised! You should ask each of your family members to make a list of things they may want. Also, ask them to make a list of items that you should give to other family members. You can gather these lists and use them to help you make decisions. It will also help you understand what items may have sentimental meaning to someone that you may not have even thought about. You may even had thought about a garage sale or donating an item that is on that list if there is no monetary value but to someone in your family it is the emotional value that the item holds.

To download some worksheets for your family to use:

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