Distributing the Deceased’s Possessions
January 18, 2021
Beyond planning service at a funeral home in Muskegon, MI, the bereaved are also responsible for coming up with a plan for the deceased’s possessions. However, organizing, going through, and dividing possessions is very difficult.
These tips can help you divide your loved one’s possessions with as little pain and tension as possible.
- The Little Things – Surprisingly, it isn’t the most valuable item that causes the most problems. It’s usually the smaller, more sentimental items that can lead to arguments and pain. How is it possible to choose who gets mom’s recipe book, or dad’s favorite chair? Be aware of this.
- Think Before You Donate – While donating unwanted items is generous and helpful, be careful not to donate too quickly. Really take your time and think about each item. While it might not be wanted now, it might end up being very important down the line.
- Don’t Leave Anyone Out – Try to think of anyone that would appreciate a piece of the deceased’s life and memory. From aunts and uncles to long lost cousins, caregivers, friends, and neighbors, you’d be surprised at who would greatly appreciate a token to remember the deceased by.
- Take Turns – Take turns picking items and draw straws or use another method to determine the order. Think of it as a sports draft. It’s a fair way to make sure everyone gets a chance to choose something meaningful to them. It’s also an interesting and sort of special way to see which items mean the most to which people. You might have never known how much your sister valued Grandma’s cookie jar otherwise.
- Compromise – Remember, this is your family, and everyone is hurting after the loss. Try to act with empathy and come to compromises whenever possible.
- Get Appraisals – Some items might have significant monetary value, such as coins, jewelry, antiques, and other valuable things. Take the guesswork out and get a professional appraiser to determine the exact value of every item. Once the values are established, divide everything as evenly as possible making sure each person ends up with about the same monetary value amount. If there are items that no one wants, sell them, and divide the proceeds.
- Use Stickers – Give each family member stickers of a certain color and have them place stickers on items they want. Items with only one sticker can go to that person, but items with more than one sticker will have to be divided another way, like taking turns.
- Make Copies – There are some items that can be shared thanks to modern technology. Make digital copies of old family photos, movies, and tapes and then distribute the files so everyone has their own copy. Digitizing these old memories is a good idea beyond dividing them even as it protects them for future generations to enjoy.
Keep in mind that all of this can be made easier when there is a clear will or an executor.
Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care is here for you if you want more help or information about Muskegon, MI funeral homes.