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How to Divide Money and Assets After a Family Member Dies

August 27, 2013 | Quick Tips | No Comments

It is not hard to divide monetary assets after someone in your family passes away, even if the will does not specify exactly how much each person should get. If you only have a brother and a sister, you can just divide the money into thirds and distribute it evenly. If they also have children, you could give portions to the children directly, or you could allow your siblings to split up their thirds as they would like, keeping what they want and passing some on to their siblings when they desire to do so.

However, the trouble comes when there are physical assets to consider. These could include a house, a summer home, a car or any other large, expensive items. They could total at a higher value than all of the cash, but they cannot be broken up and given out. You also have to consider all of the smaller items, such as furniture and collectibles. They may not be worth as much as a car on their own, but the collective total could still be significant. How are you supposed to divide these things?

You have two options. First of all, you can sit down with your family members and see if people really want certain items. You might be ale to make a deal that, while not perfectly fair, makes everyone happy. For example, you might be glad to take the house for your family, your brother might want the summer home for vacations, and your sister, who already has two houses herself, could be glad to take the cars. You can divide the smaller possessions up in the same way. Again, this is to be done if there is not a will that specifically states who is entitled to which items.

Reaching a compromise like the one described above is uncommon, though, because someone is always going to feel like they got less than someone else. A home that is worth $500,000 is far more valuable than a summer cottage that is only worth $200,000. People may not be happy with what they get. Your second option, then, is to sell everything. You can even do this at auction for the smaller items. Once you have converted all of the physical assets into cash, you can then easily divide the cash among the three of you. To learn more, feel free to check out





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