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The generation without heirlooms

Families often collect things from previous generations in their family, hoping they will pass on the same family heirlooms to their children. This has been a way of showing loved ones how much they are cared about and that they can have a piece of their family's history. However, aspects of inheritance are changing with new generations. The parents of baby boomers, who lived through the great depression and World War II, were more sentimental in many ways than boomers and millenials.

While families used to need to figure out who should take certain heirlooms or assets, they are now trying to figure out who will take them. Previous generations used to want assets that their parents had, but now, millenials and even people from the baby boomer population are increasingly mobile, and fewer of them want more heirlooms or mementos that they have to store.

Many people have grown more urban in recent years, hoping to downsize their lives and remain movable for their jobs and increase the distance that they vacation. While this doesn't present such a large problem for the boomers and millenials, it can make it difficult for people who have the heirlooms and antiques now, to decide what should happen to them.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help a person understand what their options might be if family members don't want to inherit some of their property. It might be an option to gift the items to a friend, or arrange a way to sell off the items and divide any money from those items among a person's loved ones.

Source: The Star Tribune, "No longer saved for generations, family heirlooms are being shed," Kim Palmer, April 22, 2013

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