Dividing Your Personal Property After Death

Dividing your personal property after death can be a chore. In some cases it’s the hardest thing even though the monetary value is not great.  Last week the father of one our neighbor’s died. My 9 year old son didn’t tell me this, though we later learned he knew, as he just told us his friend was going to visit his grandpa.  Turned out they were going up to clean out grampa’s house up in the northern most points of California.

Once we learned of the death we talked to our son about what it means to die and to make sure to tell his friend how sad he was that his grandfather died.  I like to think my son is caring and sensitive but he replied, “I don’t think he is sad, he gets to go through his house, and take whatever he wants… like a watch, or a knife, or anything….”

Putting aside the fact that we need to do a better job parenting I think this sentiment is commonly held and often ends up creating problems after death. It becomes an issue of who’s first to the house. Whoever is first often takes what they want.  Whether justified or not this is tantamount to THEFT and can create criminal and civil problems.

The best policy is being honest in a probate situation.  Inventory the assets and let the Court decide how they should be divided. If you need help sorting and dividing the personal property in your probate let us know.

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