When most people think about estate planning, they picture money and property. But, as a St. Louis will and trust lawyer, I see more and more people adding intangible assets to their estate plan. Intangible assets might be things that have no monetary value, but are nonetheless important to the family. They may include personal letters, a recorded family history, or digital assets such as electronic photos.
An experienced St. Louis will and trust lawyer will have several creative strategies to help you include such assets as part of your estate plan. Even if you don’t currently have intangible assets to leave behind, it’s never too late to start a collection. Letters to your children, photobooks, cards, or words of wisdom can be incredibly comforting for loved ones when you’re no longer around.
The following list can be used for inspiration when creating intangible assets that can be included as part of your estate plan:
- Annual birthday cards or recorded greetings
- Congratulations on life events
- Stories from the deceased’s life (oral or written)
- The deceased reading bedtime stories to kids or grandkids
- Handwritten cards or letters
- Life lessons that should be passed down
- Video instructions on how to do something (make a favorite recipe, for example)
- A family tree to be passed down to future generations
You may also be interested in creating a video Will. Although your official documents will be in written form, you can use a video Will to read your documents aloud and explain your decisions. An added benefit to a video Will is that it can be used to demonstrate that you were competent when you made your Will. On occasion, estate planning lawyers have to deal with family members who challenge a will, so your video reading could be an important way to ensure that your wishes really are followed.
When clients meet with our St. Louis Will and Trust attorneys at Jones Elder Law, they are often pleasantly surprised at the creative way we can help them leave a legacy that goes beyond money. Call our office at (636) 812-2575 and schedule a complimentary consultation to start the process for your family today.