The issue of fairness is one that runs deep when it comes to inheritance, and tangibles, and those items of personal property given to family and friends are often at the core of that. Fairness for some is the monetary value calculated when all is given out, tangibles and other items including real estate and finances. "Did we all get an equivalent financial share?" Fairness for others is receiving what was most dear to them, something that held emotional ties and memories, something they want to pass along to their children, something that has a sense of tradition and roots and connection. Fairness for others is combination of these benchmarks. A very complex formula for a estimating a sense of an objects worth derived from a mix of emotional ties and what the-more or less objective-financial estimate tells. And when more than one person has their sights set on the same thing the door for conflict or ruffled feathers or severed relationships is opened.
Your task then in creating your estate plan is to determine whether tangibles will be distributed in a manner that equates to a financial balance sheet and/or whether you will try to factor in the meaning of an item to someone in determining to whom you will leave it, or some mix of these criteria. These core ideas then become a critical part of your written estate plan.
Good advice … One source describes the objective in giving your tangible personal property to family and friends as "leaving a legacy of relationships rather than a legacy of conflict".
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