Lawyers frequently mention that death and divorce bring out the worst in people. If you are currently undergoing estate appraisal in Maryland, you can prevent that scenario with your own family by considering your personal property carefully. Many times, people are upset not about money, but with the sentiment attached to certain objects. Here are five tips for reducing family conflict:
- Keep open communication: You will never know who places the most sentimental weight on your possessions unless you talk about it. Notice subtle communication. but also think back on who admired that unique painting or antique piano the most. If there is a relative who seems particularly drawn to an item, ask them why. It may be a passing fancy—however, it is also likely that your possession may present significance to them.
- Make practical gifts: Gifting a piano to a child who never played may upset the niece or nephew who played your piano every chance they received. Do not let these observations go ignored. Ask the relative who actually uses or admires your property if they want it first. Do not give an item just because you want to keep it in your immediate family or avoid selling it at auction. It may be possible that your relative does not have room for a piano, large painting or any other item, but have them tell you that, rather than assume. Hard feelings often cause nasty will contests.
- Use specific bequests: When you own valuable property, it is best to mention it specifically in your will. This is especially true with heirlooms, artwork or antiques that could cause a war between selling it and giving it to a family member. Your attorney will often put these bequests in an addendum so there is no doubt as to the intended recipients.
- Discuss before selling: It may be tempting to liquidate property quickly as you downsize. However, if you have immediate family in the area, run this by them first to see if they have any particular attachments. Even if liquidating property allows your family members to receive more cash, there can still be hard feelings if someone had their heart set on inheriting a particular item. Rocky roads during estate appraisal can become more complex if anyone is harboring resentment that arose from feeling disrespected.
- Consider a “yard sale”: If you are considering selling property, place it in a central location in your home and have your children or other relatives come over. Give them a chance to look everything over, and if they want something, allow them to take it home that day. If there is a disagreement and two people want the same item, draw straws or use some other type of fated tiebreaker to settle the matter. Once this “yard sale” format concludes, call us to appraise the property and perhaps find a good auction opportunity.
When you need accurate appraisals of your personal property for estate appraisal in Maryland, Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC is here for you. Call today to arrange for an appraisal and assessment of your valuable items.