Monday, September 8, 2008
Dividing personal property
One of the most difficult parts of estate administration is often dividing the personal effects of a deceased parent or other close family member. After making specific and general gifts, many of these people leave the residuary of their estates to "their children equally." Dividing money and shares of stock is easy -- but not so with personal property items where each beneficiary owns an undivided share of each item.
So, if the will did not provide an allocation method, what is the executor (or administrator of an intestate estate) to do?
Earlier on this blog, I mentioned how an auction run by an auction house could be a viable, albeit expensive, option.
I have just learned about an inexpensive ($49) web-based service called eDivvyUp that allows the personal representative to set up an auction-based system which gives beneficiaries/heirs credits, rather than money, to use in bidding on the items. Although I have not used the system, after reviewing the website, it seems like a very viable and well-designed method of solving this common problem.