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Atlanta Estate Lawyer: Divvying Up Your Parents’ Stuff

I’ve been practicing as an Atlanta estate lawyer for many years and represented clients in many estates where siblings cannot agree on the division of their parents’ personal property. The basis of the disagreements are many:

“Mom said she always wanted me to have her wedding ring.”
“Dad gave you more stuff than me when he was alive.”
“I’m the executor, so  I get to choose who gets what, and I want the grill.”

Distribution of personal property other than money, stocks and similar assets (i.e., stuff) can quickly become a headache for the personal representative and beneficiaries, and can lead to threats of litigation and worse. Taking some simple steps following a parent’s death (and even before with the input of the parent) can help keep disruptions in the distribution process to a minimum and keep the relationships among siblings intact, which their parents’ undoubtedly would prefer over family broken up over material things.

This CNN Money Article provides some tips about how to handle the “stuff.” One tip I would add to the article is for each sibling to realize they have gotten along in the world so far without the “one thing” they believe they must have, so ultimately ending up without the “one thing” at the end of the distribution process will not mean the end of the world. Five years down the road, a brother may find himself in need, and the leather recliner he really wanted most likely won’t be in a position to help him out, but the sister he berated for choosing it before him may.

If you are an executor, administrator, heir or beneficiary facing a problem with the distribution of an estate, please email me or call me at my Atlanta probate law firm 404-467-8613.  As an Atlanta probate lawyer,  I’ve got the experience and legal knowledge to help you resolve the matter.

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