If you’re a member of the Denver Broncos, congratulations. You just won the Super Bowl, and the jewel-encrusted Super Bring worth thousands of dollars that goes along with it. That Super Bowl ring will be a cherished part of your family heirlooms for a long time to come, but you have to decide how to pass it on to your heirs in your estate plan.
Of course, the chances that you will ever even touch a Super Bowl ring, let alone own one, is almost imperceptibly small. But even if you don’t own a Super Bowl ring, you probably have something that you would really like to have remain in your family after you are dead and gone, whether that’s a vacation home, a piece of décor , jewelry, and sometimes even tools or golf clubs. Whether these items have significant monetary or sentimental value, you want to make sure you have taken the proper steps to ensure that property gets to the right people.
Create a Trust
Perhaps the best way to do this is with a trust. Trusts aren’t just for money. A trust is a legal creation wherein the title and ownership of assets such as real estate and other valuable property are transferred to someone (the “trustee”) to hold for the benefit of someone else. A trust can be used to protect the property from creditor claims, reduce the size of an estate so as to avoid estate taxes, and allow the trustee to manage the property according to your wishes. If you set up the trust for yourself, you can continue to add to, sell or buy assets for the benefit of the trust as long as you are alive. When you pass away, the trust’s named beneficiaries can receive the assets subject to whatever restrictions you placed on how the assets would be distributed and used. You can, for example, specify in your trust that these items can’t be sold and must be passed among family members. In many ways, you are limited only by your imagination.
For your “Super Bowl ring” as well as for other items of property, you can specify who gets what, and subject to what restrictions. Personal property can be transferred to the trust using an “Assignment.” You can prepare a single document with all of these personal property items listed with the language that you are assigning all of the listed property to the trust.
Along with your personal property, you can include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual fund accounts, collections and just about every other property over which you can claim ownership. For bank and brokerage accounts, you will likely need certain documents from the financial institution or issuer to sign. And for real estate, you need to execute a new deed, naming the trustee as the owner.
Consult Estate Planning Lawyer Dan McKenzie
With a trust, your “Super Bowl ring” can be protected from the claims of creditors and not have to be included in valuing your overall estate for estate tax purposes. You can also avoid disputes among family members as to who gets to display the ring after you pass away or who is the owner and may sell it. Contact Denver estate planning lawyer Dan McKenzie to advise you and to create the right trust instrument for you as well as to review other estate planning strategies for you.