How Tape Fixes Your Estate Plan

Matthew Gray |

I mean literally. No analogies or poetic parallels here.

Let’s face it, family disagreements can get stickier than flypaper. This is compounded when people are dealing with the loss of a loved one and the array of emotions accompanying a death. 

We are blessed in America to usually have things to pass on to our families when we reach the end of life. These items can be a valuable part of our legacy. Although we are gone, objects we leave behind can propel a relative to reach a new goal or give them something to remember us by.

Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. Families can be torn apart in the aftermath of a death when tempers flare over who gets Grandma’s prize china or Uncle Bob’s favorite rocking chair. 

I’ve heard of families leaving a house sitting full of furniture and “stuff” for years, the property sapping away at the family resources, all because the children do not want to tackle the messy conflict of deciding who gets what. 

This is not the legacy we imagine to leave for our descendants. 

Thank goodness it doesn’t have to be this way!

A clever idea I learned from my grandmother can solve a great deal of family strife! When Grandma was packing up her house to sell and move in with her children, she used a simple solution to clarify which relative would receive each item she would give away.

She had the family over to her home and gave them masking tape and markers. If you wanted a picture frame, table, or lamp, you wrote your name on the tape and plastered it to the back of the item. If somebody else already claimed your target, you found the person and discussed it with them - with Grandma nearby to play referee and make sure her wishes were known. 

The outcome? An organized and straight-forward way of dividing up the family heirlooms with everyone still talking to each other by the time they were finished. 

While not every estate planning challenge can be solved with masking tape or baling wire, there are simple solutions to many of your biggest worries. My grandmother didn’t know all of them, but she did understand that having a plan in place was key.

To discuss how to have clarity and confidence in your financial and estate plan, you can schedule a time to meet with us by clicking here. Also, take advantage of our FREE DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES such as Five Tax Strategies Retirees Often Overlook and Six Mistakes Grandparents Often Make.

And remember, education is worthless without the willingness to act, so be proactive and plan your financial future with confidence!

**Larson Wealth Management and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.**