Where There’s a Will… There’s a Way to Deal with Stuff

Today I attended a great Women’s Week session (www.wcgbr.com) titled ” Will and Testament: Why Do I need One??” Our speaker Debby Anselmo (www.debbyanselmo.com) was answering a question on how to clearly communicate in a will and testament how you wanted your property divided. She made statements to the effect that the document clearly lays out your intentions, there are ways to ensure the things you want to leave to your heirs get dispensed, you can do so much of this ahead of time.

It brought to mind my recent “Mission Organization” session in which an attendee asked how to deal with inherited items. I ended up making some comments similar to Debbie’s: Why leave it to the heirs to struggle on what to do with your belongings or, even worse, fight over items when it can be detailed out before hand?

We just came off National Preparedness Month. You have started refreshing your emergency disaster kits, reviewing your medical benefits and financial instruments but have you have a had a conversation with your loved ones about your stuff? Do you have specific items that you would like for family members and friends to have? Do you want your loved one to remember you with mementos or the values and life experiences they gave you? Each of us has to answer these questions for ourselves but also think about it from the viewpoint of the recipient. If you cannot imagine what their response would be, now is a great time to ask. You can address liquid assets in a living will, tangible objects in a final will and values or ideals in a legacy letter. All of these documents can be put into place now and updated over time.

Here are a few tips to move you forward:
• Keep a positive mindset about why you are doing this
• If needed, go over a few items at a time to avoid overwhelm
• Tell the recipient why the item is significant and you would like it preserved
• Have an alternate in mind in case your first choice is not able to receive your item
• Thoughtfully compromise if your loved one connects more to a different item than what you choose
• Allow your family members the option to release less meaningful items
• Document who will receive what.

Don’t let your possessions become someone else’s burdensome clutter. Give those you love most the opportunity to love the things that marked great moments in your life. Also allow them to exercise their own boundaries and stay organized.

Remember, life is about way more than stuff. Deal with the stuff now so you can live more later!
tt