Use these suggestions to prevent squabbles over priceless family heirlooms.
You’ve definitely heard at least one horror tale of adult children battling over how to split their parents’ belongings or whether to retain or sell those priceless family antiques after their parents’ deaths.
In most situations, it is the emotional worth of items such as pictures, personal possessions, jewellery, and artwork that ignites these family feuds, rather than the monetary value.
Here’s what you can do to avoid family feuds over priceless family treasures passed down through the centuries.
Make a Will
Writing a will is just one aspect of estate planning, but it is a crucial one. A will specifies who receives what property and assets, such as declaring that things are to be split evenly among the children.
A will may be as detailed or as broad as you choose. Nonetheless, unless you make a point of include specifics about particular products, the phrasing may be rather generic and often does not indicate who receives what.
Now is the time to have the difficult conversations.
Most estate planning specialists advise collecting the whole family together while everyone is still alive and well and compiling an inventory list of “special assets” with the heir’s name put next to it. This list may then be included into the estate planning papers, such as a will or a revocable living trust.
Another option is to use a sticker to designate each thing or possession with the child’s name. However, family members should keep in mind that this strategy is not legally binding. Having said that, this way of splitting property is typically pretty successful for most siblings.
Name a Trustee or Executor
A trustee or executor controls and supervises the estate’s assets. The executor’s responsibility is to settle the estate and convey what is going on with the estate to the heirs. Unless, of course, there are disagreements, it’s very simple.
The eldest kid is often picked for this “job,” however an executor may be any trustworthy person who is a skilled mediator.
Include a “No-Contest Clause.”
In certain states, you may include a “No-Contest Clause” in your will or trust. This strategy is quite efficient at preventing family feuds since heirs who oppose the will are not entitled to any portion of the inheritance.
Make plans to sell at auction.
Some families choose to sell family heirlooms and other belongings in a public or online auction. All family goods are up for sale in both instances, and children must bid on anything they desire.
Alternatively, family members may be given “credits,” which allow them to buy products using money they will inherit rather than spending their own money.