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An estate battle is often about lots of money, but sometimes it is about the small, but important items.

Personal items, especially those located in the family homestead, may well be what sparks a big estate fight, according to Business Vancouver in “Wills: Leave’em laughing.”

While you are alive, the personal items are unlikely to cause any problems. However, after you pass away, they could very well cause problems for your estate. If you have more than one child who wants a particular piece of personal property, there needs to be a way for them to decide who gets it.

There are several different things you can do to make sure that your children do not argue over your possessions. If you want a child to have something in particular, then you can give it to them before you pass away or you can make specific designations in your estate plan.

Another method is to direct that your children use a reverse draft method. One child picks an item. Then the next child goes and so on. When every child has picked something, then the order of choosing is reversed and they all pick again.

A list also could be presented to each child of all the important items and they can rank them all by preference. The estate executor can then use those rankings to guide the distribution of personal items.

An estate planning attorney can help avoid the problems that arise over an estate distribution.

Reference: Business Vancouver (Jan. 31, 2017) “Wills: Leave’em laughing.”

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.