Good estate planning attorney would create a plan and guidance to avoid family feuds, as much as possible.  Most assets are able to be turned into cash, or are in cash form already; properties, savings accounts, bank accounts, investment accounts, etc.  The more difficult part is personal property. That is the candle sticks as a wedding gift, the silver plated picture frame from the honeymoon at Niagra Falls, and other such sentimental “stuff”.  Often, one adult child will claim that the engagement ring was promised to him or her, while another adult child would claim that the china set was to go to her daughter. You get the idea of how this could easily devolve into a feud and not having one child speak to another for years. The question becomes, how to avoid this mess.How to Divide Assets


The easiest and most effective way to divide the personal assets is to have a written memorandum in the estate plan that lists the items, and who the beneficiaries would be for each item of sentimental value.  I always include a blank Personal Property Memorandum in the estate plans for my clients, so that the client could write in their own hand writing, so that there is no mistake, how the property would be divided. Of course, there would always be certain items left out of the memorandum, either unintentionally, or with the thought that it was not very sentimental.  For instance, a Winnie Pooh stuffed animal that a grand child always played with when visiting grand ma. In these situations, I have employed a bidding strategy where everyone is given a certain amount of tokens, and each person can place their tokens as they seem fit for each item. It has worked well in the past. 


The real answer is to plan now, and not wait. 

How to Divide Assets in an Estate Plan