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Sentimental estate disputes can be more difficult to resolve

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Many estate disputes revolve around high-value items. The beneficiaries involved are debating how that value should be transferred to the next generation and split between them.

For instance, a parent could leave a family home behind. If there are no instructions for what the adult children are supposed to do with their parents’ home, a dispute may arise. But there’s an easy solution, in that the adult children can just sell the house for current market value and then divide the money between themselves.

Planning for sentimental items

But some assets have no financial value, or very little, and a lot of sentimental value. For instance, maybe those adult children were all hoping to inherit a book collection, a set of dishes, artwork from their parents’ home, a family Bible or another type of heirloom.

In a case like that, solutions can actually be more difficult to find. For one thing, these items may not be worth very much. Even if the children sold them, they’re not going to make substantial money like they would when selling a home.

But on top of that, the dispute isn’t over the value of the assets. Because the children are interested in the sentimental value, they want those specific assets for themselves. Selling the items and splitting up the money doesn’t make any sense because none of the children would get what they actually wanted.

As a result, it’s often necessary to look for more creative solutions, and this is also why it’s important for parents to consider all of the options they have when planning in advance. Proper planning can sometimes help beneficiaries avoid disputes because they are given clear instructions regarding asset distribution.