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Three Ways to Give Away Your Family Heirlooms

Ever see a woman who has had her cameo necklace snatched away by her sister?

It isn’t pretty.

Avoid a Family Fight Over Heirlooms

Heirlooms such as jewelry, cookie jars, framed pictures or quilts to name a few can spur a fight like no dollar bill ever could. Every time you turn around these days, you can find an article lamenting how the millennials do not want our McMansions or our Ethan Allen furniture. However, when it comes to emotional or sentimental items, the backlash can be really scary.

The worst is most of this upheaval happens when the grieving process has not even kicked in yet? Often, family members are still shocked or stressed and are not even thinking. Because of this, creating a plan to give away your family heirlooms while you are still alive can save your family a heap of heartache.

If you have a serious family or a playful one, hopefully one of these suggestions will work for you to plan a give-away of the “family jewels”.

  1. Have a YARD sale of sorts in your home. Get a package of easy to remove colored dots and give everyone their own color. Discuss terms, i.e., a pledge to play nice and share throughout the process. Take turns and place a sticker on a wanted item when it is YOUR turn.
  2. Meet separately with your children or beneficiaries and ask them to give you a list of their top five most meaningful items in priority order. Let them know this is YOUR stuff and you will do your best to see that for those who are attached to something deeply, you will do your best to give them at least one of their top three.
  3. Have an “auction”. Set the items up for grabs in a room in your home. Set a fair market value price on each. Give all of your children or beneficiaries some play money, equal amounts. Hold the auction and allow them to “bid” on the items that mean the most to them.

If you anticipate an emotional fight when it comes your time to go, taking this into your own hands can save your family members years of split holidays, not speaking, and hurt feelings. If you are not interested in any of these, you can designate your items yourself and let them find out what you decided after your gone…and you won’t have to live with the turmoil, if there is any.

We help people everyday create their guaranteed estate plans. We know how to minimize the strife and difficulty that can happen when a loved one passes. Visit us at one of our upcoming estate seminars. Choose a date that works for you here.




Posted on: July 25th, 2017 by Sheryl Keeme   Estate Planning  |  Uncategorized
"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22