A lot of people creating estate plans know how they want to distribute their valuable assets, such as their homes and their cash accounts. But what about all that personal property you leave behind? How do you divide everything fairly? When it comes to distributing tangible personal property, there are a number of possible strategies you can use to ensure that it doesn’t cause a problem.
One the easiest ways to distribute personal assets is to simply sell everything and then divide the money between your children and or other inheritors. You can, for example, direct that your estate executor hold an estate sale or estate auction. Once the auction is over and the fees are paid for, you can then direct the executor to distribute what remains.
Of course, some personal property items may not have a high dollar value, even though they may be important as heirlooms or for sentimental reasons. When it comes to dividing heirlooms, you might want to allow your children or other family members to select what they want. You can do this before you die by asking them, for example, to submit a list of items each of them want.
You could also have your executor hold an auction and allow family to bid on items, or allow the children to pick one item at a time in a round-robin process. If you can’t decide on the process yourself, you can direct your executor to distribute the property as he or she sees fit.