Probate & Trust Administration: How to Split Assets

Remember the Little Things When Dividing a Loved One’s Assets

After a loved one passes away, the mourning process does not end with the funeral. For most people, there are still homes to be cleaned out, insurances to be claimed, and assets to be distributed. Many times that process will be just as emotional and difficult as anything that came before and trying to divide assets amongst family members can be a huge source of friction.

Wills and trusts typically cover larger items such as who gets the house, car, or other assets. However, most documents fail to account for the little pieces of property, which many times have the most meaning, like pictures, heirlooms, and other smaller personal items with sentimental value.

What’s the best way to distribute family heirlooms and photos?

Photographs and albums tend to be one of the biggest pieces of property where disputes between family members happen. If you are the process of updating a will or living trust, speak with your attorney about adding in a clause which specifies where photos and other small items should go. Many people will require that beneficiaries make copies of certain photos and provide one to each family member who wants one. In the age we live in, scanning or copy photos can be done with the click of a button and cost pennies to print.

Is An Attorney Needed for the Distribution of Family Heirlooms and Photos?

As attorneys, we can incorporate this and monitor it so the parties keep track and it is used for the final reports. With technology, there are a lot of tools that can make this entire process easier and less expensive. The lesson is though not to forget the small details and personal mementos, and get help to get it done.

If you are already in probate and multiple copies of photos were not left, simply as the executor of the will or trustee to scan photos into a USB drive for everyone in the family. And if scanning photos seem like too much work, there are many services online who will handle the entire process for a reasonable price. The key idea is to remember the little things when making a will or helping to distribute assets as an executor.

Keeping those ideas in mind will only save your family from unneeded stress and friction after the passing of a loved one. If you are currently in the probate process or will be soon, contact our expert attorneys at Elder Law Services of California for a FREE consultation today. Our team of probate experts is eager to help walk you through the process. Call us today at (800) 403-6078.

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Related Questions
  • Do you have to go through probate if you have a trust?
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