It's easy to divide up cash, stocks, CD's - those things that are "money". The hard part is dividing up the non-money items like furniture, jewelry, paintings and pictures. Most of the arguments between and among beneficiaries are due to what's called the "envy factor". Someone feels slighted because they think that they got less than someone else. The envy factor doesn't happen when dividing up money because everyone can clearly see what’s fair and what’s not.
For example if there are 4 beneficiaries to share equally and the estate has $40,000 in cash, that’s $10,000 to each beneficiary. Not much to quarrel about there. But what if the 4 beneficiaries are left a dining room table, a sofa, 3 TV’s, paintings and jewelry? How do you split that fairly? Sure, you could get an appraiser, value each item and go from there however there are cost and logistics involved (and how do you agree on an appraiser?)
In Chapter 17 we go over fair math – for those types of items that can’t be divided equally but can be divided fairly. It’s like the old – “my piece of cake isn’t as big as yours is” problem – 2 people can get a fair share of a the cake if one of them cuts and the other chooses the piece. That way the person cutting tries to make the most even division possible because the other person gets to choose their piece of cake.
So check out Chapter 17 (page 99) and good luck!
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