If you have decided it is time to sell your family home and downsize, this creates the perfect opportunity to divide the family heirlooms and some of your personal belongings.
Doing your giving while you are still living not only means you can have the joy of passing on treasured items to the family member you desire to give them to, but it could also prevent a future dispute over the matter. It can also give you the opportunity to share stories, traditions or history related to particular items. Gather your family together and keep the mood light – invite them to come with a positive mindset and willingness to compromise. You could even call it your downsizing party!
Encourage communication so that if something has particular sentimental value for someone it can be acknowledged and considered when the time comes to share out the heirlooms and belongings. It may also be a good idea to only invite your offspring to this party and not their spouses to avoid potential disputes.
If there is something a spouse or grandchild would particularly like to have, they could let this be known ahead of time, with the understanding that there is no guarantee they will receive the items. You could also include those items that you are not yet ready to part with, so that everyone knows ahead of time who will receive what.
It is most important that everything is made clear and recorded on paper at the time, especially for those items that you will continue to use for the time being. This document should then be handed over to your solicitor to make it legally binding.
If it appears that problems could arise with more than one person desiring the same object, and for items that no-one has considered as cherished, you could draw numbers out of a hat to determine who chooses first, second and so on. Alternatively, begin with the eldest and continue down the line, then reverse the order. Each person could be allocated a sheet of coloured stickers and when it is their turn, they put their sticker on their preferred item(s), taking into account the value of items and encouraging an attitude of equity.
Remind your family that regardless of whether they receive everything they would like, relationships are always more important than stuff.
I hope you find the above suggestions helpful. This sort of approach can give you peace of mind and avoids unnecessary misunderstanding amongst family members at a time further down the track when emotions can run high.
If you are planning to sell your home, contact Heather Abbot – your Senior’s Real Estate Specialist. I will guide you through the whole process, making it as smooth as possible for you.
Call me today for an obligation-free home appraisal on 0417 001 186.
your specialist in specialises in dealing with seniors and making this transition smooth in every way, so why not contact her today.