The majority of people prefer a minimalist style of decor, and some individuals even prefer an overall minimalist lifestyle. After a lifetime of accumulating possessions, your estate plan will likely include a listing of who gets what. However, there are many things your heirs just don’t want, and working with an estate planning lawyer can help your loved ones avoid the trouble of dealing with these unwanted bequeathed items.



Timeshares are infamously difficult to get out of. These long-term contracts may last for a lifetime. Over time, the fees associated with timeshares typically increase. Your heirs might not want to take all their vacations at that place. They might not have the funds to cover the timeshare fees. Avoid bequeathing a timeshare to your family members. If you insist on doing so, they can file a formal disclaimer of the property and refuse to be a participant to the contract.


Perhaps you got into the Beanie Babies or Cabbage Patch Kids craze a few decades ago. Maybe you have a collection of Hummel figurines. Assigning a monetary value to these collections can be a challenge. Your heirs might not know who to go to for an appraisal. Heirs might not even recognize that a collection has value. They might see a stack of old postcards and assume that it’s junk. If you have a collection of value, tell your heirs where it is. Have it appraised, and put the appraiser’s information in your estate plan. Consider donating a valuable collection to a themed museum.


Avoid bequeathing firearms to your heirs. Considerable paperwork and documentation are required for the transfer of this type of property. Heirs can’t transport or carry firearms without registration and a permit. The executor might not have enough time to send your estate through probate. The only option would be for law enforcement to hold onto the firearms until your estate completes the probate process.

An Open Business

If you own and operate a business, bequeathing it to unsuspecting heirs is a bad idea. They may already have jobs or livelihoods and no time to dedicate to running it or finding someone capable of running it. They might not know anything about the business at all or simply have no interest in being a small business owner. What happens to your business upon your death should be decided upon in a contract between your other business partners. You could also prepare a contract for a current employee to buy your business upon your death. In the best-case scenario, sell your business before your death, which will avoid conflict among your heirs.

Second Home

Second homes or vacation properties require all your heirs to be on excellent terms with one another and agree on who coordinates and pays for taxes, maintenance, repairs, decorating, the use of the property and more. If your heirs are unlikely to cooperate in these decisions, don’t leave your second home to them. One of your heirs may be more interested in inheriting it, or your estate plan could provide for the sale of the property and the distribution of the proceeds.

Sentimental Items

Fights among heirs often occur over items of little monetary worth but high sentimental value. An old, embroidered pillowcase, crocheted blanket or chipped dishes may cause your loved ones to fight. Instead of bequeathing them in your will, give them away while you’re still alive.
When you work with a New Jersey estate planning lawyer, you can learn more about what you shouldn’t bequeath to your heirs or favorite charities. For additional details about the worst assets to bequeath or to schedule a consultation, contact the Hackensack office of The Knee Law Firm at 201-996-1200 today. Alternatively, complete our online contact form to request a consultation.