When you’re planning your estate in Arizona, it’s important to include any belongings that you want to pass along to your friends or relatives. Naming all your assets in your will might be time-consuming, but it pays off in the long run. Your assets will be distributed without your family members arguing about who gets what.
Are personal belongings part of your estate?
Personal belongings are considered part of your estate like anything else. This includes expensive assets like boats, houses, cars, businesses and furniture. However, it also includes items that might be more difficult to value. This can include personal items like artwork, clothing, books, instruments, electronics, collectibles and anything else you might have in your possession.
Antiques, jewelry and family heirlooms are also belongings that should be mentioned in your will. If you don’t name an item in your will, you won’t have much control over where it ends up. For this reason, it’s important to take your time and talk to an attorney during the estate planning process.
When you die without a will or a trust, any assets that don’t have a beneficiary designation might have to go through probate. This is the process that allows the court to divide up your assets. Properties and personal belongings typically have to go through probate because they can’t be given directly to your friends or loved ones. Some assets like bank accounts and life insurance policies are allowed to bypass probate because they have a named beneficiary. However, they might still have to go through probate if the beneficiary has died or you neglected to name one.
How can you make the best decisions for your family members?
Ultimately, there are no laws dictating how you divide up your estate. You could divide it equally among your family members or leave everything to a single friend. Whatever option you choose, one thing is always true: you’ll need a legally-binding estate plan to make it happen.
An attorney could help you figure out the best way to divide up your assets. When the estate planning process is over, you’ll have a set of documents that provide for you and your family members.