19 Things You Should Never Leave to Your Kids in the Will

When we consider what we will pass on to our children, it is not just about money and assets. The legacy of the older generation extends beyond finances. It encompasses their values, emotions, and experiences. However, there are some things that children, regardless of their age, hope they won’t inherit.

Cherished Heirlooms

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Think about selling your valuable heirlooms and spilling the proceeds evenly instead of passing them down. Heirlooms can result in tension among your children. That is why, by taking the route of selling them, you can prevent any conflict over prized possessions and ensure fairness among your heirs.

Fine China

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While fine china once symbolized warmth and tradition, its significance has diminished over time. Fewer couples register china patterns, and display cabinets are becoming less common. You can decide not to leave fine china in your will. Remember that your children may not have the same attachment to it as you do.

Box of Photos

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Digitizing old photos can be a meaningful gift to your loved ones. It spares them the burden of sorting through physical prints. You can opt for a variety of services that provide affordable options for digitizing photos and organizing them with labels. It helps in preserving memories for generations to come.

A House Full of Clutter

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Leaving behind a cluttered home can be emotionally and physically taxing for your children. Start decluttering now by giving away items to family members or donating them. This lightens the load for your heirs and also fosters a sense of togetherness during happier times.

Old Tableware

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While you may cherish your tableware collection, your children may not share the same sentiment. Contemplate excluding valuable tableware from your will. You can do this unless a specific child has expressed interest in receiving it.


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Leaving behind significant debt can burden your children financially. Take steps to resolve your debts during your lifestyle. You can do so by entering bankruptcy if necessary. Keeping your children informed about your financial situation can prevent unpleasant surprises after your passing.

Old Clothes

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Your old clothes may hold sentimental value for you, but they may not be desired by your children. Consider discarding or donating old clothes that no longer serve a purpose. Doing so spares your children the task of sorting through them.

Old Linen

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Similar to old clothes, old linen may not be appreciated by your children. Keep only what is necessary and discard the rest to avoid burdening your heirs with unwanted items. Alternatively, you can think about donating gently used lines to charities or shelters to ensure they find new homes where they are needed.

Paperwork Mess

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Organize your paperwork and files to avoid leaving behind a chaotic mess for your children to sort through. Properly labeled folders and organized files can make it easier for your heirs to handle important documents after you pass. Additionally, consider creating a document outlining all important financial and legal information. This can include your account numbers and passwords and would help guide your children through the process.

Family Feud

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Ensure your estate plans are clear, consistent, and complete to prevent conflicts among your children. Avoid leaving different amounts of inheritance or contradictory statements that could lead to resentment and ill-will among siblings. Regularly update your estate plans to reflect changes in your family structure and avoid misunderstandings.

Unused Gifts

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You can consider donating any unused gifts from your children rather than passing them along in your will. It is best to avoid potential hurt feelings or misunderstandings among your family members.

Old Magazines

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Old magazines such as the Reader’s Digest collections may no longer hold the same value they once did. As reading habits shift towards online sources, these printed materials often become cluttered. It is advisable to donate, sell, or recycle them to clear space and avoid burdening your children with unnecessary items.

Personal Care Items

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Clear out your medicine cabinet and bathroom shelves of the items you do not require anymore. Your children won’t want old toiletries or expired medications. Declutter your shelves now to save them from the hassle later.

Holiday Decor

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While you may cherish your holiday decor items, your children may not share the same sentiment. Discussing what to do with these items with your children beforehand is ideal. It can prevent confusion and ensure that they go to someone who appreciates the decor items.

Dirt and Mess

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Leaving behind a dirty or messy home can be a burden for your children. That is why, take the time to clean and maintain your living space. It ensures your children will inherit a comfortable and welcoming environment, rather than added stress and cleaning responsibilities.

Record Players

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Old record players, especially those which are broken or outdated may not be of any interest to your children. Think about disposing of them to avoid passing on items that may become a burden. If you are passionate about preserving music memories, you could create a digital library of your favorite records to share with your family.

VHS Tapes

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Your children are unlikely to use VHS tapes in today’s digital age. You can digitize any important footage and donate or dispose of the tapes to create space and avoid passing on outdated technology. Transforming nostalgic family videos into digital files can ensure they are accessible and enjoyed for years to come.

Old Family Piano

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Consider parting with your old and unused piano. Restoration costs can be significant, especially if it hasn’t been maintained. Giving it away or arranging for disposal can save your children from dealing with the burden.


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Printed encyclopedias were once valuable but now are outdated and difficult to use. You can dispose of them to ensure your children do not get bulky or obsolete reference materials. If you have particularly rare or sentimental editions, you could explore donating them to libraries or educational institutions where they may still hold some value.

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