Sometimes, people will have a significant list of items in their home to go to others. But, when it is time to downsize, and move to a new smaller residence or to assisted living, what should a person do with them?
- Does the testator (the person writing the Will) need money that would be gained through sale of the items?
- Can the testator fit certain (or all) the items in the new downsize residence? Does she even want to take them all? Can she afford the cost of moving the items?
- Will the persons to whom the items were intended be a able to take them now, and/or be upset if the items were not available in the future? This might happen, for example, when grandkids are the intended recipient and they do not have a place of their own or are still living at school.
Give the gift now!
- Gift them as instructed in the will – it fulfills her wishes ahead of time, and it will prevent hurt feelings when the will is later revealed and everyone sees that the “wrong person” ended up with the necklace, piano, painting (or whatever).
- Then, mark a copy of the will with gifts given out and identify which she still has with her. That will make the executor’s job a lot easier in the future!
The choice to downsize can be a difficult time for lots of reasons. Derive immediate joy by gifting the important personal possession now.