Dividing The Property Can Be Fun!

by Jill Francis on October 15th, 2013

A mom and dad retired and moved to Florida and with retirement and the move, came the realization that they would not live forever.  Being the wise, loving parents they are, and not wanting their children to argue over family possessions upon their demise, they created a fun way to divide the property while they still lived.

They invited their three grown children, without spouses and grandchildren, to spend a weekend with them.  On Friday night, the parents handed each child a bundle of play money and told them that they would be "spending" it that weekend.  They also shared their end-of-life wishes and anything else they thought the children needed to know before they might become ill or passed away.

Saturday morning began a tour of the home with the parents stopping at sentimental or valuable pieces of the family estate.  They asked each child to "bid" on the item and they kept a record of what each child "won", to be given to that child when the parents were gone and the estate divided.  This activity accomplished several things:  it made each child think about what they really valued as a family possession; after all, there was a finite amount of "money" to spend, they had to really want an item to purchase it.  They also learned which items were important to their siblings, why they were important, and whether-or-not they were worth driving up the "cost".  And most importantly, they spent a weekend as the original nuclear family, reminiscing about the items, which prompted the telling of the family stories;  they spent a weekend of memories, while creating a memory that will be significant when their parents have said their final goodbye.

With planning, forethought and creativity, property division can be meaningful (and perhaps), enjoyable, rather than painfully emotional and potentially divisive.  Conversations prior to a crises prevent emotionally charged conversations during and after one.

So gather the family and grab a stack of play money.  Take a walk down memory lane and find out why your daughter wants the biscuit pan more than the silver tea service.  Create memories and start a healthy tradition; then you'll be making your final Good-bye a Gracious Goodbye. 


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with end of life planning, tradition, end-of-life wishes, possessions, goodbye


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