Here’s What Heirs Think

CAMARILLO, Calif., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Baby Boomers, in droves, are caring for aging parents, doing their own estate plans, and perhaps most challenging, settling their parents’ estates. These newly released survey results of thousands of heirs, shed light on what to expect when planning your own estate or when settling your parent’s.

Boomers are helping parents downsize and move, and ultimately when they pass away, they deal with loss, grief, and estate settlement, including navigating the fairness issues and personalities of their sibling heirs. The task of dividing, donating or selling the personal property (furniture, art, personal effects, jewelry, etc.) is often the part that can most easily lead to family conflict. Simultaneously, Boomers are experiencing their own health challenges, or Covid is raising awareness, so they are now working on their own estate plans.

Knowing family/heir mindsets is very helpful when planning or settling estates. Most obvious from the survey is that many indicate items have sentimental value, lots care about getting their fair share of the monetary values, and only about half readily agree with going along with however the executor opts to divide.

The role of executor, or trustee in a will or estate plan often falls to an heir, and includes responsibilities, tasks and navigating family dynamics most have never done; for most it can be overwhelming and time consuming.  For many it can be quite upsetting dealing with the various opinions, preferences and judgment of their siblings.

Julie Hall, author, and estate expert known as “The Estate Lady” writes: “…80% of families think their family won’t have conflict, and 80% of that 80% do, and often to the point of not speaking.”

The survey draws on thousands of heirs dividing their family’s estates using the company’s process of listing, sharing and dividing.  Before heirs begin the process, they indicate if they strongly agree or disagree with the survey statements. This helps gauge their thoughts and help guide the division process.  It is fair to assume that some heirs simply check level 3 as a way to get through quickly, or to mask how strongly they feel, or maybe aren’t sure, but one can still see strong trends that help identify challenges. It only takes one unhappy or contentious heir to stall or disrupt the division. 

You or someone you know has a horror story on the topic of dividing estates —unfortunately.  Planning and instruction for this part is usually given the least time, and most vague guidance in a will or trust. Strangely enough, it often creates by far the biggest logistical and emotional challenges for settling the estate, whether small or large.

David MacMahan of says, “When dividing an estate, lack of instruction about “the things” can become a stumbling block for peaceful divisions. FairSplit™ was built to provide a platform that saves time and travel costs, but more importantly is a blind, fair system to determine who gets what.”  

Using insights from the survey, providing guidance in the will or trust is critical.  Any division process or guidance that provides transparency and equal opportunity to all heirs in the awarding process can overcome challenges seen in the survey. Families don’t plan to fail; they just fail to plan.”

CONTACT AND BIO INFO: was founded in 2010 to help with peacefully dividing the personal property of estates, in death, divorce or downsizing in an online platform. The listing and sharing is free to use, with upgrades to divide online. Additionally, they offer mediation, listing assets from photos, valuing and administrative services.

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+1 855-58-ESTATE (855-583-7828)