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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > Reality Check: Your Clutter Will Not Destroy Your Family

Reality Check: Your Clutter Will Not Destroy Your Family


On some corners of the Internet, people seem to think that a person’s moral worth is inversely proportional to the amount of stuff he or she owns.  By this logic, your grandmother’s kindness and generosity were canceled out by her collection of souvenir spoons that formed such a thick layer on the walls of her kitchen that you could scarcely see the pattern on the wallpaper.  When you are young, the rhetoric of decluttering rings true.  A tidy house is a luxury for the parents of young children, and it also makes sense to send the message to your kids that the most important things in life aren’t things.  When young people declutter, they get to enjoy the decluttered environment for its own sake.  When seniors declutter, more is at stake.  The point is to leave less personal property for your family to sort out after you die.  As such, getting rid of your possessions at an advanced age feels like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the Grim Reaper, which is not most people’s idea of fun.  A Tampa estate planning lawyer can help you make life less stressful for the family members who will outlive you, in ways that don’t involve confronting every article of clothing that you will probably never wear again.

How Bad Is It to Leave Behind a House Full of Clutter?

Most people’s wills include detailed plans for the inheritance of money and real estate property.  From the perspective of estate planning law, anything you own that does not fit into either of those categories is considered personal property.  Therefore, personal property includes everything from gold jewelry to souvenir spoons to ordinary kitchen spoons.  It does not make sense to itemize every appliance and trinket in your house, or else your will would be dozens of pages long.  You do not need to be as specific as to say, “My daughter Deborah shall inherit the champagne flutes.  My son Donovan shall inherit the beer steins.”

If you have a preference about what happens to a certain item of personal property after you die, you should say so.  If you want to donate your souvenir spoon collection to the Florida Bell Choir Society, then say this in your will, or better yet, contact them while you are alive and arrange an appointment for them to pick up your souvenir spoons.

Yes, if you don’t decide which of your stuff is trash and which is worth keeping, your surviving relatives will decide.  Of course, if you let them decide, this means that you trust their judgment.  Trusting your children’s judgment is as powerful a final act of love as leaving them a clutter-free house.

Contact David Toback With Questions About Stress-Free Estate Planning

A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you focus on the important parts of estate planning and not sweat the small stuff.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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