FairSplit.com discovered that when dividing personal property, executors must wear the “heir hat”
Managing the process of dividing things up, deciding what things, how they are grouped or valued is much better when executors consider the perspectives of the heirs.
– David Mac Mahan
CAMARILLO, CA, USA, November 9, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Executors have a difficult job, often overwhelming and rarely appreciated adequately. To make matters worse, they almost never have previous experience in this area. Being the family executor and one of the heirs is very different from just being an heir. It requires wearing two hats; the “executor’s hat” and an “heir’s hat”, to ensure success as an executor.
Getting it wrong or missing a key detail when dividing tangible personal possessions (furniture, jewelry, art, etc.) can create resentments and riffs in families that never heal. Approaching the process by often imagining removing the “I Am Responsible – Executor’s Hat” and opting for the “Heir Hat” to be worn can help preserve family relationships.
So many wills, trust documents, and articles speak in general terms of dividing things up fairly, equally, or equitably but not necessarily equally, taking turns, etc. happen, so most of it falls on the executors, and the way they do this can create resentment on the part of the other heirs. A short list of generally necessary decisions:
A. Process – What process will be used to divide things, and what things should be included?
B. Packaging and Shipping Costs – Who pays for the packaging and shipping to each heir?
C. Does everything need a dollar value, or no value should be used, or maybe only items over $ 500?
D. Smaller Sets or Groups – Do things like large formal porcelain sets fit as a single item, or are they maybe split into three or more usable, but partial sets? Are kitchen items, clothing, small collectibles listed item by item or in usable subgroups?
E. Advertise or Donate – It’s easy to rush in and start getting rid of things you personally wouldn’t want, but other heirs might, like old kitchen items, daddy’s ties, a small bell, children’s books, etc.
So, with the “Heir Hat” turned on, let’s take a look at each example above and how maintaining that mindset in this process will help you:
A. Process – For most heirs, transparency and a sense of equal access and opportunity for all are essential. So imagine each heir, actually imagine each heir (without judgment), their location, living situation, family relationships, and what would help create a transparent, inclusive and fair process for all?
B. Packing / Shipping Costs – Do all the heirs live close enough to pick them up on site? Usually no, so will the estate pay all shipping costs, a capped maximum amount, or will everyone pay for what they choose? Does everyone realize that shipping a dining set or almost any furniture can exceed the equity in the estate if it has just been sold? The selections of the heirs may well be decided by this important calculation.
C. Monetary values - Do all items have to have fair market value to even out the approximate corresponding totals for each, or does it provide the flexibility to choose the things that are important? so no values needed? What if someone just wants their share of the money? What is fair for the succession (the other heirs) and fair for this heir who does not want “the stuff”.
D. China? Money? Other sets – Are they still sets, or would some be happier to have 4 place settings each? Maybe split into several mostly equal sets that each heir could potentially choose from, or maybe get several for a larger set.
E. Advertise or Donate – It’s easy to rush in and start getting rid of things you don’t want, but other heirs might, like old kitchen items, daddy’s ties, classic children’s books, a little bell, etc. throw that might have been of sentimental value to someone else can cause resentment that is difficult to overcome during this time of loss.
Wearing the “Heir Hat” is really just another way of saying, be empathetic. Executors need to empathize and encourage the same in others; to heirs who seem to want everything and to those who say they want nothing.
David MacMahan, Founder of FairSplit.com says: “Everyone’s situation is different; the way they deal with grief is different and the way they perceive “things” versus “cash” and so on. The “Heir Hat” concept can help the executor make good decisions and help the family talk years after the division of the estate has ended. “David uses the wisdom gained from his more than ten year history of navigating the process with thousands of families and heirs to help FairSplit.com client families share roster, share and divide assets. .
FairSplit.com was founded in 2010 to assist in the peaceful division of personal estates, death, divorce or downsizing on an online platform. Listing and sharing is free, with upgrades to split online. In addition, they offer mediation, asset listing from photos, appraisal and administrative services.
David Mac Mahan
write us here
Visit us on social networks:
Introduction to FairSplit.com’s online division of personal property services