Planning for Life

5 Ways to Divide Tangible Property in an Estate

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 10, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

tangible property - will - estate-planning-Margolis-and-Bloom

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.

  1. 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.
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Topics: Probate Estate Administration, tangible personal property, personal representative, executor

7 Ways to Divvy Up Your Stuff

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 23, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

estate planning - soft goods -Margolis & Bloom

When you die, your possessions will go to your heirs. Savings and investments are easy to divide up since they can be turned into cash. While real estate is more difficult, it can be turned into cash by selling it or co-owners can share it. But the most difficult items to divvy up are your personal possessions -- silverware, dishes, artwork, furniture, tools, jewelry -- that are unique rather than fungible. In legal speak these are known as "tangible personal property" and  can become the focus of family feuds, often one or more children claiming that a parent had promised them a particular item.

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Topics: will in massachusetts, will, tangible personal property

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