5 Things to Do Before Passing Down an Heirloom

Passing down family heirlooms can be tricky business.
Passing down family heirlooms can be tricky business.
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Want to leave a legacy future generations are sure to treasure? Then you've got a little work to do. With a bit of deliberate decision-making and information-gathering, your heirlooms will be off to their (appreciative) new homes in no time.

If you're worried about your portfolio's shortage of vacation homes and stock certificates, relax. Most of the keepsakes we're talking about probably didn't cost a mint in the first place; they're valuable because of the sentiments they bring to mind. But, while your memory-rich items aren't likely to come with a title or deed, they can still carry a lot of baggage. Personal property, often too inconsequential to include in estate planning, quickly becomes a sticking point when it's time to divvy up the goods among family members.

That's why getting started now -- even if you're only getting organized for a future giveaway -- can bypass big problems later.