How do I safeguard or protect assets that are left behind? This is a very problematic question and that you really have to rely upon your heirs or whoever has access to these assets whenever you pass away to see that they’re safeguarded. If the assets are titled such as real estate, well then they are pretty well safeguarded because you need to have the appropriate person sign the deeds as far as conveying the real property is concerned. If they’re automobiles or any assets that are titled, you can then check on that to see if anyone attempted to transfer those automobiles that we’re not entitled to. Same thing with securities and brokerage accounts. Those are all titled, and they require documentation in order to be able to be transferred to the beneficiaries of your estate. There is problems whenever you have, such as jewelry, collectibles, coins, furniture, antiques.
None of these assets have any assets. I routinely talk to my clients who do estate planning and I said it’s the U-Haul effect. Whoever gets there first with the U-Haul wins. So, you really have to rely upon the integrity of the beneficiaries of the estate because it’s very, very difficult to prove what’s was taken by whom and how much was it worth in order to try and recover it from someone. If you want to safeguard items such as jewelry and coins and things such as that, you could probably put them in a safe deposit box. However, then you won’t be able to enjoy them during your lifetime if they’re locked away. But that’s one way to safeguard them. Larger items, equipment, tools, things like that can’t put that in the safe deposit box. So the only thing that you may do is try and go through and come up with an inventory of some of the more valuable assets and put down the approximate value and put that on a list as to who you want to receive that, and that would certainly show that what assets should be there, but if they’re not, it’s very, very problematic. If you have any questions about this, give me a call, (727) 847-2288.