Most people who have children or have younger people in their lives that they care about want to leave something of importance to them after they pass away. This could be funded from a bank account, stock portfolio, etc., or could be a valuable tangible asset that can be passed down from generation to generation. But some things that are valuable to one person may be more of a burden to a different person- one man’s treasure is another man’s trash. And some of these might not be as easy to deal with as dropping off at the Goodwill. Here, our Arizona estate planning lawyers will discuss what to do with financially cumbersome assets in your estate plan, or options on how to deal with a financial burden you have inherited. Proper estate planning in advance can prevent issues and expenses for yourself and your loved ones in the future. For your free consultation with our firm, call 602-609-7000.
My boyfriend’s mom has two parrots. She really seems to want me to like them, despite my boyfriend being afraid of them. I love ferrets, which rhyme with parrots, but it doesn’t work like that. Obviously, everyone wants others to like their pets, but I think I know her true intention. Her parrots are in their 40s and have approximately 60 years left in their lifespans. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Some pets may not just live forever and be annoying and bite you when you thwart their escape attempts. They could have high-maintenance medical conditions or extremely expensive care costs. A perfect example of a pet that could be burdensome to inherit is a horse. If the heir doesn’t have a large and suitable property, they will need to pay to have the horse boarded. Even a typical household pet with a serious illness could become financially and emotionally stressful for any family.
If you are leaving your pet to a loved one in your estate plan, you should always check with that person first that they agree to take the pet if needed. You could leave that person funds for your pet’s care, or create a trust for your pet’s financial needs in the event of your passing. If you got your pet from certain rescue organizations and breeders, you may be required to return the pet to them. Other pets may live a better life at a sanctuary, farm, or another type of organization rather than at a stranger’s home.
Unwanted Real Estate
It could be a dream for some to inherit a cabin up north in a forest somewhere, and a total nightmare for others. An inherited home could need significant repairs or have property taxes that the heir can’t afford. It could be in an area that is remote or entirely inaccessible given the heir’s physical conditions. Under some conditions, the property may be rented to tenants or as a vacation property. But this might not be an option if the home is in poor condition and the heir can’t afford the repairs necessary to get it to a habitable state. If so, selling the property may be the simplest way to get rid of the burden and hopefully receive some money from the transaction. Otherwise, the heir may need to get creative when thinking of ways to make the property profitable.
Another potential issue with inheriting real estate is if it is already occupied. While some consider rental income as passive income, others recognize that being a landlord can be a full-time job in itself. The heir will need to keep the property at a certain standard and potentially deal with issues with neighbors and other third parties. The tenant could stop paying rent, conduct illegal business on the property, or otherwise require the heir to take action and file an eviction. All of this should be considered before leaving someone a rental property in your will.
There are infinite reasons that a vehicle might not be the right fit for a certain household. A family may have small children and the vehicle could be unsafe or not seat enough passengers. The vehicle could need significant repairs, be a gas guzzler, or just be plain ugly. Encumbrances, a reclaimed title, and previous accidents can all make a vehicle more difficult to sell. If the vehicle doesn’t even run, it will be even more of a hassle for the heir to deal with. If selling the vehicle isn’t feasible, many organizations will come to pick up non-running vehicles as a donation that can be used as a tax write-off. Some vehicles’ parts may be worth more than the whole, although finding the right buyer can take time and effort. However, if the vehicle is in decent condition but simply won’t sell for much, it can be great to gift or will to a family with pre-teens or teenagers who will soon be learning to drive but can’t be trusted with anything expensive.
There’s a saying that “the happiest day in a boat owner’s life is when they sell it.” While boats can be fun and will certainly get you more matches on dating apps, they can be costly and time-consuming. Someone who inherits a boat may need to learn to drive it, find and pay for somewhere to dock the boat, conduct maintenance on the boat, and more. Combine this with a far drive to the water and giving someone a boat in your deed may actually be an insult from beyond the grave. If it comes to a point in your life where you can no longer take care of your boat and no family members seem interested, it might be time to start looking for a buyer.
RV, Motorhome, Etc.
Owning adult “toys” like an RV, motorhome, ATV, etc., could be a goal for some but simply inconvenient for others. Even a relatively small item, such as a mountain bike or ski equipment, could be too large for someone who lives in an apartment or a similar small living situation. However, these items will be much easier to sell than physically larger assets like a house or vehicle. The heir may even be able to take the asset into a dealership for an appraisal and possibly to sell.
Reliable & Affordable Arizona Estate Planning Lawyers
If you have a variety of assets and don’t know how to list them in your estate plan most effectively, a lawyer may be able to help you. There are certain legal instruments you can use to help your heirs avoid taxes, probate court, and all of the stress and expense those entail. But deciding which are the best for your estate, and executing them properly, is easier said than done. Arizona Will Attorney can help you determine the best course of action for your financial needs, as well as your family’s. You may also find it useful to add non-financial instruments to your estate plans, such as a power of attorney or advanced health care directive. Give yourself peace of mind knowing that your legal documents regarding end of life were prepared by a skilled professional. To get started with your free consultation, call 602-609-7000.