Four Ways to Safeguard Treasures from a Household Fight
The passing of household treasures from one generation to another need to be a welcome custom in most families, but unfortunately, this procedure can trigger long-lasting family rifts if not done appropriately. There are many stories of families that have split over a silver tea service or a picture of a long-dead ancestor.
If you do not want that to occur in your household, here’s what you can do as part of your estate planning:
Be sure to have a will.
Most people understand the importance of having a will, but if you have household heirlooms to pass on, it is important that you carry out a will. It should be as particular as possible, with details about each product and who gets it. Just mentioning that treasures should be “divided equally” can lead to a household feud.
In some states, you can consist of a “no-contest” stipulation into your will that will instantly disinherit any heir that contests a will. However, Florida does not recognize no-contest stipulations and courts here have found them unenforceable.
Create a list and share it.
All too often kids will find after Mom or Papa has actually passed that the Tiffany light was assured to more than one brother or sister. This is why it is very important to produce a list of your household treasures, assign names to each item and share that list throughout a family event while you’re still alive and well. This list can then be integrated into your will or trust, so it ends up being legally binding.
Trust an executor.
If you simply can not decide as to who gets what, then you can leave it in the hands of your administrator to make that distribution. Just make sure the person you pick as your executor has great mediation skills.
Conduct an auction.
Some people choose to either liquidate the heirlooms at auction and place the possessions in trust for heirs or to hold a household “auction” where each kid is given a lot of credits they use to “bid” on the products they desire. It’s an innovative way to head off a family battle if you see one looming.