-The Big Give-a-way!-
Children and grandchildren should not be under the conclusion that anything is coming to them after a death in the family. Our parents should enjoy every minute they have with us and not have to worry about leaving behind an inheritance for the children. One nice thing my mother did was take all of us on a cruise with her. That way we all got to be together, mother spent some of her money on us, and we all had a fabulous time. If you are blessed enough to have lots of money at the end of your life, start giving it away before you are gone. There won’t be as much misery for those left behind.
A death in the family brings out the worst in siblings; that is why I recommend a meeting with an ailing parent before he/she is too ill to make decisions. In the meeting find out who wants what. Someone needs to write the list down and put the name beside the item. Hopefully this is done before the person dies. This way the family can have its say, and the one leaving the inheritance can clarify his/her decisions with the family. You may not see this as a solution, but it is better to know the desires of the family members than to fight over everything while dealing with the loss of a loved one.
My mother recently sold her home and moved to a smaller place. She decided to let go of some of her treasures. She called her daughters together and told them what she was giving up for now. She went down the list and whoever wanted the item would claim it. When there were two wanting an item, each had to tell why she wanted it. Also, the proceeds from the home were divided among the daughters and the grandchildren. Each received the same amount, so there was no squabbling.
-Show us the will-
My mother also has a will in which she gives certain items to particular people. I know there will be a problem with this list. She tried to divide the big things up and give one to each daughter. She did the same with the grandchildren. I believe each sister will wonder why each received what she wanted. Personally, I would rather Mother give these items to us before she dies, so we can talk together about the list. What if she gives one daughter a bedroom suite that another daughter wants? The two could talk and perhaps trade off another item of same value. At least one wouldn’t be dividing up items over a casket!
-Will back special gifts-
In conclusion, people who own property and valuables should get rid of these things while they are still alive. I know I would have asked my grandmother for a blue plastic necklace that I bought for her with my Camp Fire Girl money. I just wanted a memento from her. People need to realize that these things can cause incredible hurt. Parents and Grandparents, call your loved ones and ask them what item of yours would they want when you are gone. Preference should be given to the person who bought the item for them. Good luck with your inheritance and successful division of property. It is a difficult part of life.