By Harry S. Margolis
When anyone dies, they’re likely to leave tangible personal property, which is what lawyers call anything you can touch, such as furniture, dishes, silverware, artwork, and photo albums. The problem with distributing this property is that you cannot do so exactly equally. In addition, many items may have little or no monetary value but significant sentimental value. So how can you be fair? Here are four methods you might use, or in some instances, you might use a combination.
- Sell. When the estate includes a few items of significant financial worth that can't be equally distributed among heirs, the property might be sold and the proceeds distributed equally as cash. This is what the family of a friend did. His parents had rescued one valuable painting when fleeing Europe before the Holocaust, which he and his sister sold at auction at Sotheby's.