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WHO GETS GRANDMA’S YELLLOW PIE PLATE? Margaret A. Viebrock WSU Extension Educator Partially adapted from a program developed by the University of Minnesota.

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Presentation on theme: "WHO GETS GRANDMA’S YELLLOW PIE PLATE? Margaret A. Viebrock WSU Extension Educator Partially adapted from a program developed by the University of Minnesota."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHO GETS GRANDMA’S YELLLOW PIE PLATE? Margaret A. Viebrock WSU Extension Educator Partially adapted from a program developed by the University of Minnesota Extension

2 Families and Inheritance Inheritance is not simply an economic and legal issue. Emotional and family relationships impact decision making. Decisions have economic and emotional consequences. Decisions can enhance or destroy families. Not all families fight!

3 “Your pie plates may not be round, and they may not be yellow, but every family has its pie plates.”

4 Unique Challenges to Non-Titled Transfers … Sentimental meanings make decisions emotional Objects involve the process of grieving and saying goodbye Objects help preserve memories, family history and family rituals Being “fair” is more complex: Personal belongings have different value and meaning to each individual Difficult to measure worth or value Impossible to divide some items “equally” Distribution methods and consequences are less clear

5 Non-titled Property … … refers to personal items without a legal document to indicate who officially owns the item Financial value – maybe? Emotional value – yes! Sentimental value – yes !

6 Non-titled Property Includes: Dishes Tools, Guns, Hunting Equipment Furniture Photos Books Linens & Needlework Collections Trivia …

7 When Decisions Are Made … Prior to Death  Owner decides who receives what.  Special memories and stories can be shared. After a Death  May not reflect owner’s wishes.  May cause misunderstandings and problems among heirs.

8 Advantages of Planning Ahead  Peace of mind knowing it is done  May include people your family is not aware of outside the family  Can ask for family input  Family will know your decisions  More likely to have peace in the family if decisions are made prior to death

9 What will it take for you to make a decision to take charge? There is less conflict when property owners take charge and make decisions about how to distribute their non-titled property.

10 6 Factors to Consider 1. Recognize sensitivity of the issue 2. Determine what you want to accomplish 3. Decide what’s fair in the context of your family 4. Understand that belongings have different meanings to different people 5. Consider distribution options/consequences 6. Agree to manage conflicts if they arise

11 Recognizing Sensitivity Issues  Family will never agree  Past conflicts will create problems  My family doesn’t talk about feelings  I don’t have anything of value  We won’t have a problem!  It’s not my place to say anything

12 Begin the Process - either generation -  Ask “what if” questions  Use “I” statements  Look for natural opportunities  Rehearse what you are going to say  Choose a time  Stay focused  Allow for some “thinking time” alone  Finish the conversation

13 What Do You Want To Accomplish? What are your goals? What’s important to you? Are you in agreement with your co-owner? Decide FIRST what you want to accomplish … Before you decide how to get there…

14 Determine Your Goals  Maintain privacy?  Improve family relationships?  Being fair to everyone?  Preserving memories?  Contributing to society?

15 Decide What’s Fair  Family members have perceptions of what is fair: Results of how items are allocated Process used to distribute  When the rules are violated; decisions are considered unfair!

16 Determine Fair - fair – equal - equitable - Fair is not the same as equal. Equal could mean an equal number, $ value or emotional value Equitable could mean taking into account individual differences - informal care giving - greatest need - gifts given

17 Contributions “In my family everyone knows that you get back gifts you’ve given when someone dies – except for time and money. I’m the daughter who lives near Mom and Dad and takes them to their doctor appointments, cleans their house and helps them out financially when it’s needed. My sister from back East is always sending expensive gifts for birthdays and holidays. Who do you think will get back the most when Mom and Dad die?”

18 Common Non-titled Transfer Rules  Equality Rules (emphasis on treating the same) Same number, dollar value, emotional value Equal chance to purchase items  Equitable Rules (takes differences into account) Contributions (gifts, help, love, money) Needs (financial, physical, emotional) Personal Characteristics: Interest in itemBirth order Current ageGender Marital statusWhere one lives

19 STORY A My mother has a yellow pie plate which belonged to my grandmother. I feel I should have it because I was a champion 4-H pie baker. My sister feels she should have it because she has a collection of yellow dishes. My brother feels it should be his because of the warm memories he has of going to Grandma’s house after school for pie and conversation.

20 Story B Grace received her mother’s diamond wedding ring when her mother married a second time. Now her mother has decided it would be more appropriate for Grace’s sister to have the ring. Grace has 2 sons and Grace’s sister has the only daughter. If Grace’s sister get the ring, then the ring would go to the only granddaughter.

21 Inheritance is Considered Unfair When:  Moral/ethical standards are not followed  Not everyone has a voice  Rules are not consistently followed  Not representative of sub-groups: - siblings - adult children - in-laws - grandchildren

22 Remember… There is no perfect method Seek creative solutions Stay focused on your goals More options are available when planned prior to death Each method of transfer has consequences

23 Methods of Distribution  Will  Lists  Gifts  “Someday promises”  Labeling  Auction/Estate sale  Pilfering  Keep Updated  Mentioned in will  Pass on memories  Misunderstandings  May fall off  Use “funny money”  Hurt feelings

24 The funeral is a piece of cake compared to cleaning out the house and closing the door for the last time! TAKE CHARGE NOW!

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