Four Ways to Protect Treasures from a Bad Blood
The passing of family heirlooms from one generation to another ought to be a welcome custom in a lot of households, however sadly, this process can trigger lasting family rifts if not done effectively. There are many stories of households that have actually split over a silver tea service or a portrait of a long-dead forefather.
If you don’t desire that to take place in your household, here’s what you can do as part of your estate planning:
Be sure to have a will.
Most people are conscious of the value of having a will, but if you have household heirlooms to hand down, it is crucial that you execute a will. It should be as particular as possible, with details about each item and who gets it. Just specifying that heirlooms need to be “divided similarly” can lead to a family feud.
In some states, you can consist of a “no-contest” clause into your will that will automatically disinherit any successor that contests a will. Florida does not recognize no-contest clauses and courts here have found them unenforceable.
Create a list and share it.
All too frequently children will find after Mom or Daddy has actually passed that the Tiffany light was promised to more than one sibling. This is why it is necessary to create a list of your household treasures, designate names to each item and share that list during a family gathering while you’re still alive and well. This list can then be incorporated into your will or trust, so it becomes legally binding.
Trust an executor.
If you merely can not make a decision as to who gets what, then you can leave it in the hands of your executor to make that distribution. Simply be sure the person you choose as your administrator has excellent 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 offered so many credits they use to “bid” on the products they want. It’s a creative way to avoid a household fight if you see one looming.