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Old 12-28-2018, 09:28 PM   #1
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Dividing an Estate

As a trustee, how do you divide up undesignated family heirlooms peacefully?
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:37 PM   #2
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Hopefully you can have each of them pick one thing and then start over until all is gone The stuff no one wants give to Salvation Army they seem to do the best Good Luck itís a thankless job
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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Having been there no one will be fully satisfied, however a starting point would be to ask who would like what.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:04 PM   #4
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Hopefully you can have each of them pick one thing and then start over until all is gone The stuff no one wants give to Salvation Army they seem to do the best Good Luck itís a thankless job
Maybe draw straws for first pick. But if the item in contention is valuable, it should count as part of that person's inheritance. The problem is, if two people badly want the same thing, someone (at least one) will be unhappy about the solution.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:54 PM   #5
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As a trustee, how do you divide up undesignated family heirlooms peacefully?

Take everything of value, put a price on it. Divide by number of family members and who ever wants the individual item pays the others their share. You will quickly find out, who really wants what. Everything remaining sell and divide the proceeds.


When my mother passed, I put my sister-in-laws in her craft sewing room and they divided everything up with no issues. With regards to her jewelry, we put everything on kitchen table and everyone took what they wanted and rest was donated.


I was fortunate as we were prepared with wills, living wills etc. and no one had any issues and no probate court was needed.
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Old 12-29-2018, 12:15 AM   #6
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When my mom died I had my relatives go through her apartment with different colored stickie notes. I left and they put their note and name on what they wanted. I told them it was okay if more than one person wanted something. Then everyone left and I decided who got what since I was the executor of her estate. The few things of value were already set aside to be sold and split between my brother and I. There was only one squabble and that was from a very spoiled young boy that hadn't learned the meaning of "no" (and yet was old enough to know that). I ignored him.


Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:56 AM   #7
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An additional 'rule' that our family has used is that if a family member gave the deceased a particular item they had the option of having it returned to them. In other words, if my brother gave our dad a TV set he could get it back if he wanted it.
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Old 12-29-2018, 12:52 PM   #8
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We handled my mother-in-law's estate in the same way Kent did -- put everything out and each person took what they wanted (in order). No issues; however, we were left with a lot of "stuff" which was either donated or sold and the profits divided. Of course, as executor, my husband told his siblings early on that, should there be ANY disagreements, everything was going to be sold and the money divided. Since most everyone wanted some memento, things went very smoothly.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:41 PM   #9
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Sometimes it goes right, sometimes it goes wrong. I have noticed that once in a while there’s a side comment made years later about a split where family members had no idea someone wanted something they didn’t get. My mom had a sewing box made out of cherry from the farm. I had it in the garage and was planning to donate it. My brother was visiting and I casually asked him if he wanted the old sewing box. He was very thankful to get it, did not know the history behind it, and considers it a treasure. I would have felt bad if I’d given it away and I’m glad he’s enjoying it. You never know.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:58 PM   #10
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My mom made me her executor, and before she passed away from cancer every time a sibling came by the house she gave them "their color" post it note to put on what they wanted then told all that I would break all ties as my decision....we all lived with it and there wasn't a lot of acrimony.
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