25 Things Not to Pass Down to Your Kids After You’re Gone

When you think about the legacy you’re creating, it’s natural to focus on the material wealth you’ve accumulated. However, other things could actually cause more harm than good. Here’s a rundown of 25 items your kids won’t need from you.

Personal Documents

Old tax returns, receipts, and documents that hold no sentimental or legal value can clutter your legacy, leaving your loved ones with the daunting task of sifting through mountains of paperwork. 

Old Magazines

Dump the decades of “Reader’s Digest.” Those magazines are just collecting dust or taking up valuable space. Time to recycle or repurpose.

Seasonal Stuff

Holiday decorations can spark disputes. Decide who gets what and share your plans to avoid conflict.

The Fridge’s Forgotten Leftovers

While perishables don’t last, leaving behind a fridge needing a deep clean is a less than appetizing final memory. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all.

Items with High Maintenance Costs

Luxury cars, boats, and other high-value items that come with steep upkeep costs can quickly turn from treasured assets into financial burdens.

Hazardous or Illegal Items

Leaving behind items that could pose a danger or are illegal is a surefire way to embroil your loved ones in unnecessary legal troubles. 

Fine China

China dinnerware’s appeal has faded. Time to rethink its place in your legacy.

Unmatched Socks 

Leaving behind a drawer full of unmatched socks is like handing down a lifetime of minor annoyances. Socks should find their partners, not puzzles for your heirs.

Unwanted Gifts

Unappreciated gifts won’t gain value over time. If they’re not hits now, they won’t be later. Clear them out.

The Pile of “Someday” Clothes

That pile of clothes you swore you’d fit into again someday? It’s not an inspiring fitness journey waiting to happen, but a space-consuming reminder of time passed.

Old Linens

Ditch the dated linens—nobody’s keen on inheriting your spare sheets, tablecloths, or doilies. Keep only what you use daily and say goodbye to the rest.

Old Meds and Creams

Get rid of unused personal care items. Your kids won’t appreciate old lotions and meds—toss any unused or expired products.

Expired Spices in the Pantry

Expired spices leave a tasteless legacy behind. Opt for freshness in life and inheritance.

Hotel Toiletries

A quirky collection, perhaps meant for guests, but inheriting miniature shampoos and soaps hardly counts as a valuable legacy. It’s cleanliness in miniature, not a treasure trove.

Plastic Bag Pileup

A stash of plastic bags under the sink isn’t a meaningful inheritance. Aim for meaningful, eco-conscious inheritances.


A stash of plastic bags under the sink isn’t a meaningful inheritance. Aim for meaningful, eco-conscious inheritances.

Overwhelming Debts

While it’s a common misconception that debt can be inherited, ensuring your estate is not overly encumbered with debt is a sign of thoughtful planning. Life insurance policies and clear financial planning can help mitigate the impact of debts on your estate.

The Infamous Junk Drawer

Every home has one: a drawer filled with random items, from old keys to expired coupons. It’s the epitome of household mysteries, not a legacy.

The Mystery Box of Cables

Don’t leave behind a tangled mess of outdated wires – A box filled with obsolete cables and chargers from gadgets past is a headache more than a treasure. Opt instead for a cleaner tech legacy.

Record Players

An old, broken record player isn’t music to anyone’s ears. Time to let it go.


Helping your kids financially while alive can be rewarding. Leave a legacy of success, not just savings.

Half-Used Notebooks

These pages hold the beginnings of lists, thoughts, and plans never completed. Sentimental, perhaps, but mostly a reminder of projects and ideas left unexplored.

The Collection of Takeout Menus

Ditch the pile of old takeout menus – digital menus have taken over. 

Unresolved Legal Matters

Spare your family from legal entanglements and ensure your estate is dispute-free.

Environmentally Harmful Properties

Real estate that poses environmental hazards or requires extensive remediation can be a precarious inheritance. Properties with issues like asbestos, lead paint, or contamination can become financial sinkholes.

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