Are you hiding coins behind your kitchen wall panels, cash between magazine pages, or coins buried in the back yard? You may laugh, but I have heard from many people that they are hiding their assets in secret places. Or, that their parents have hid assets but will not tell anyone until they get older!
I am going to share a personal, and very true story that always reminds me how important it is to keep track of your assets in a way so they are never lost in the backyard or in California's pot of unclaimed property. As Personal Family Lawyers®, we make sure that you create an inventory of your assets and we help you update it, so your wealth passes down to the people that you love most and is there when your family needs it the most.
Many times, my mother-in-law, Yoko, had whispered to my husband, telling him that she had hid money in the house. She had full capacity and he knew she was serious. But she wanted to wait to tell him where the loot was hidden (I'm sure she knew that he would tear the house apart the minute she went to the grocery store, if she told him where it was located).
My husband was her only child and he knew that his mother loved him more than anything in the world, and he felt some level of comfort knowing that his mother would be able to pass this gift on to him someday. However, what he did not know was that when she went into the hospital with pain one night, she would never regain capacity, and would pass three weeks later, and that his father would pass just weeks after her.
In contemplating what to do with his family home, my husband remembered his mother's hidden bounty. Well, you guessed right, he never found the money and YES he did turn the house inside out.
This is not an uncommon story. I hear many variations of this story all of the time. Do NOT hide your treasure that you worked so hard for, and if you do, MAKE SURE it is safely recorded in a place that your family can easily locate. Even more common than hiding assets, is that a person dies and their family just does not know what they own or where it is, whether is it a bank account or land plots in Texas! Where does it go? It goes into the 8 billion dollar pot of California's unclaimed property.
You may have differing feelings on what is worse - a stranger finding $100,000.00 in silver coins in your old kitchen panels or $100,000.00 sitting in California's pot of unclaimed property. With either scenario, your family's wealth is not passing the way it was intended to pass. It is important to inventory and update your family's wealth throughout your life to ensure that your financial assets are passed on to whom you want in the way you want.
At Timeless Estate Planning, as Personal Family Lawyers®, we can help secure your family’s most valuable assets. CALL US today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session to make the most empowered and informed decisions for yourself and the family members you love, at (650)386-0605.
This article is a service of Laura Croft, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.