When You Die, Don’t Leave These 20 Things Behind for Your Kids

Thinking about what to leave behind for your kids is more about legacy than logistics. It’s a fine balance between sharing memories and avoiding leaving a mess. This comprehensive guide is about making that process a bit easier, helping you decide what’s treasured and what’s better off not being passed down. After all, the goal is to enrich your kids’ lives, not burden them with sorting, organizing, or disputing over what you’ve left behind. Here are 20 things you don’t leave behind for your kids.

1. Cherished Heirlooms

Heirlooms might seem like a great idea, but they can cause family disputes. Sometimes, it’s tough for your kids to decide who gets what. If you sense this could be a problem, consider selling those items instead. This way, you can split the proceeds among your kids, keeping things fair. Plus, it sidesteps the whole drama of who inherits grandma’s china.

2. A Mountain of Debt

Leaving debt behind is a no-go. It’s stressful enough to deal with loss without adding financial worries. Start chipping away at that debt now to give your kids some peace of mind later. Clearing up your financial affairs is one of the best parting gifts you can offer. Trust me, your kids will thank you for not passing on your financial burdens.

3. VHS Tapes

Those VHS tapes might hold dear memories for you, but let’s face it, they’re pretty outdated. Your kids probably won’t have the means (or the desire) to watch them. Digitizing these memories is a great alternative. Not only does it save space, but it also keeps those memories alive and shareable. Plus, it’s a relief not to deal with physical clutter.

4. Boxes of Old Photos

Endless boxes of photos can be overwhelming for anyone to sift through. They take up space, and sorting them is a massive task. Scanning and digitizing them can save a lot of hassle. This way, you preserve those precious memories without hogging space. And your kids won’t have to feel guilty about what to keep and toss.

5. Gifts With Conditions and Special Instructions

Attaching strings to gifts can create unnecessary tension. It’s confusing and can lead to family disagreements or even legal headaches. Gift freely and without conditions for the smoothest handover. Your kids will appreciate the simplicity and clarity. Plus, it’s an excellent way to show trust in their choices.

6. Personal Care Items

Nobody wants to sort through a lifetime’s collection of personal care items. Do a regular purge of things you don’t use or need. This includes expired items or those half-used lotions hiding in your cabinets. It’s a small act that significantly reduces the burden on your kids. Plus, it’s just refreshing to declutter.

7. Old Clothes

Your fashion might not be their fashion. Unless it’s a high-value vintage piece, your old clothes are likely just taking up space. Donating is a fantastic way to clear out your closet and help others. This way, your kids won’t have to tackle piles of outdated fashion. It’s a win-win for everyone.

8. Old Linens

Like clothes, old linens rarely hold sentimental value for the next generation. Keeping your linen closet streamlined is not just practical; it’s kind. Donate what you don’t need to keep things simple for your kids. They’ll appreciate not having to deal with worn towels and sheets. Plus, it’s one less thing for them to sort through.

9. Property You Don’t Own Outright

Properties with outstanding mortgages can complicate things. If possible, work towards settling property issues before you pass. Clear ownership makes for a smoother transition. It’s a thoughtful way to prevent any legal headaches for your kids. And it gives them clarity on what’s theirs, free and clear.

10. A Paperwork Mess

A disorganized pile of paperwork is daunting for anyone. Keeping your documents in order makes it easier for your kids to handle your affairs. This includes your financial records, personal documents, and anything else necessary. A little organization now can save a lot of headaches later. Plus, it’s a relief knowing everything is where it should be.

11. Pets

Pets are family, but they’re also a big responsibility. Your pet’s future might be uncertain if you haven’t made arrangements. Talk to your kids or a friend about caring for your furry companion if needed. Setting up a plan ensures they’re cared for, and it’s one less worry for your kids. Plus, knowing your pet will be in good hands is comforting.

12. Old Magazines

Piles of magazines are just clutter, not cherished memories. If you haven’t looked at them in years, it’s time to recycle. Clearing out those stacks can be liberating. Your kids won’t have to figure out what to do with them, which is a relief. And honestly, it feels good to declutter and simplify.

13. Trust Property

Trust property should be handled within the trust, not your will. Mixing them up can confuse things. Keep trust matters separate to ensure everything goes smoothly. This way, you’re clear about where your assets should go. It makes life easier for your kids and keeps the legal stuff straightforward.

14. Assets With Named Beneficiaries

Some assets bypass the will entirely, like life insurance or retirement accounts. Including these in your will is redundant and can create confusion. Ensure beneficiaries are current to ensure a smooth handover. It’s a straightforward way to manage these assets. And it keeps things tidy for your kids.

15. Holiday Décor

Holiday decorations can lead to unexpected disagreements. Share out the decorations now, explaining your choices. It’s better to enjoy them spread across your family’s homes. This way, everyone gets a piece of holiday cheer. Plus, it avoids any bickering over who gets the best ornaments.

16. Will Inheritance for Beneficiaries With Disabilities

Direct inheritance can affect government benefits for those with disabilities. A special needs trust is a smart workaround. It supports your loved one without risking their benefits. This thoughtful planning ensures they’re cared for without financial penalties. It’s a way to provide support while keeping their best interests at heart.

17. Dirt, Dust, and Repairs

A well-maintained home is a loving gift to leave behind. If your children inherit your house, make it easy for them. Tackling repairs and cleaning up can make a world of difference. It’s about leaving them a home, not a project. Plus, it’s a final act of care that speaks volumes.

18. Unresolved Legal Matters

Leaving unresolved legal issues can be a nightmare for your children. Whether it’s disputes over land, unsettled claims, or incomplete legal documents, get these sorted now. This saves your kids from potential legal battles or the hassle of untangling complex issues. Peace of mind comes from knowing all is in order, legally speaking. It’s a relief for everyone involved.

19. Complicated Investment Portfolios

If your investment portfolio looks like a maze, consider simplifying it. Complex investments can be daunting and difficult for your heirs to manage. Streamlining your investments or ensuring clear instructions are in place can prevent confusion, and it’s about making the transition as smooth as possible. Your kids will appreciate not having to become instant financial experts.

20. Overwhelming Collections

Whether it’s stamps, coins, or antique furniture, think about the future of your collections. Consider selling or donating them if they’re not attractive to your kids. This not only clears space but also prevents the burden of decision-making from falling on your children. Let your collections bring joy to others now instead of becoming a burden later. It’s a thoughtful way to share your passions without imposing.

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