When my uncle past away a number of years ago, he had a Will, but what a Will doesn’t usually take into consideration is the stuff in the house, photo albums, furniture, kitchenware’s, tools, jewellery, knickknacks, etc. After my uncles’ death, the big items, furniture, televisions, etc were actually divided up quite easily. The problems arose when one half of the family (my side), who lived out-of-town were not given ample time to pick up the items and things were given away without our final agreement.
I had sent my husband to pick up the items left to us since I was ill at the time, plus he was able to disassemble my uncle’s bed and load it into our van (I would have been useless). When my husband arrived (after working an eight-hour shift, he found a huge mess, pictures taken out of photo albums and thrown on the floor, contents of cupboards just tossed here and there. He put as much as he could in our van, thinking he still had another day, but even before he arrived home, I found out that the rest of the contents of the house were being picked up the next day by strangers. I made a phone call to the person who was responsible for giving the contents away and was reassured the contents would still be there another day.
My husband, again went back the next day after work, only to find little in the house, it had been emptied. The not very expensive but personal items I had made for my uncle and grandmother (she had past away less than a year earlier) were gone. He had made a two-hour trip for nothing and I was in tears.
In a very short number of years, I have lost my great-aunt, two grandmothers, uncle, both my parents, and a very young sister-in-law. My husband has also lost in the same time period, his mother, and just recently his brother. So suffice to say, we have this “Will” thing pretty much down pat. Not long after we had our first child we wrote our first Will, and since then have updated it after each child, and then every three or four years. We have had lengthy discussions with our children about the division of property. For example, our life insurance will go towards paying for our cremation, a wake (neither of us are having a funeral, just a party), bills and if there is any money leftover it will be divided amongst the three of them. Likewise, if one of our kids wants our house, then the other two will have their portion purchased. As for the contents, all will be divided equally and fairly.
Our kids have seen the problems which have arisen when money/things are not shared equally, so I can confidently say, they will share because they want to avoid tears, as each of them as said, enough tears are shed when a person dies, causing more because of financial gain/material items is just not worth more tears.
Do you have a will? Have you talked to your kids about the division of money/items?