Your heirs are more likely to fight over the sentimental items than anything else. There are two brothers here in Denton who do not speak to each other because both of them swears that their father promised them a grandfather clock. They both inherited over a million dollars, but they are mad at each other over the clock. I encourage my clients to make of list of who they want these sentimental items to go to. I especially encourage grandmothers to write down what they promise to each grandchild, because I know it would be easy to promise the same item to more than one grandchild. I can see promising the same item to more than one person, because I know I will be gone when it is given away, and it doesn’t matter to me who it goes to.
Also, if there is any family history, it is good to write that down so it is not lost. I have had many women who have lost their mothers tell me that they wish they had written down the family history that their mother told them. Many times they will tell me that their mother told them the history behind an item to where they were sick of hearing it, but now that mom is gone they can’t remember all the details.
When I was a freshman in college and only 17 years old, my history teacher had us interview our parents and grandparents. We asked them how they met, what their first job was, and where they lived as a child. I learned so many things about my grandparents that I would have never learned. At the time I didn’t see the point of it, but those tape recordings are now something I treasure.