I read your column about heirs dividing up personal possessions after a family member dies. Here is a better approach for your consideration.
That comment refers to a May column, in which we answered a reader’s question about estate planning and how best to allocate family items.
I suggested that parents, while still alive and in good health, should talk with adult children about the things—a wristwatch, a painting, a book, a musical instrument, a baseball glove—the children might want to inherit and why. I also recommended drafting and signing a “personal property memorandum,” a list of items and the people selected to inherit them, and attaching this paperwork to one’s will.
Those thoughts prompted a number of emails from readers that can best be summarized as: “Nice try, but there are better ways to do this.” First, my thanks to all those who took the time to write. And second, I agree: Some of the suggestions we received are (pick a word) smart, compelling, straightforward ways to solve what can be a knotty problem.
What follows are several of these ideas: