Who gets grandma’s yellow pie plate is a question that should be asked right now in your family. Let me explain. Last year, I attended a three-day educational conference to earn the Certified Estate Specialist (CES) professional designation. The instructor(s) recommended several books we should read after leaving the conference. One of them was, yes you guessed it, “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Plate.” The book was published by the University of Minnesota Extension Service in 1999 but is applicable today as it was then.
Well… like many other things, this book, was placed in my “to read” pile near my desk. With the snow and sub-freezing temperatures, we had recently, I took some down time and read it. As I read it, my mind reminisced to two past situations. One was when my uncle died.
My Uncle Francis and grandmother raised me. We did some fishing together and exploring. He was more of a Civil War nut than I was as we used metal detectors to find Civil War relics around the Atlanta area in the 60’s. Kennesaw Mountain near Marietta, Georgia, was one of our favorite sites to explore.
He had some real Confederate money, binoculars and a pistol that was handed down to him years before. Together, we collected dozens of mini-balls and a few other items that was Civil War related. When he died, I found out my mother, his sister, was designated as executrix of his estate. That was fine as I was in Greensboro and would have found it difficult to administer the estate myself.
There were eight children in the family in or near the Atlanta area. I figured if my mother needed help, one of them could help her. To make a long story short, I did not receive any of the Civil War items and to this day, I do not know what happened to them.
The other situation was when my wife’s Aunt Lithy died. My wife’s mother died years before, and her aunt took her in and raised her along with her brother. When her Aunt Lithy died, she left everything to my wife. There was no real estate, mainly personal property.
But before you could say scram, her aunt’s brothers and sisters raided the home and took what they thought should belong to them. Some of the items that my wife cherished, were gone.
As you know, over the last several months, I have written about wills and probating your estate. Most of the information had to do with “titled property,” i.e., the home, car, bank account, investments, etc. As I read the book, “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate,” thinking about the two situations mentioned above, I realized how important it was to have a clear understanding with family members, and possibly non-family members, regarding non-titled property.
Who gets what? Don’t wait until a family member dies to settle the issue. Have a family meeting and discuss these issues now. The book “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate” has some great questions and worksheets you may want to consider as the family works through the questions. You can Google the name of the book or order it from Amazon.
In the meantime, if we can help you plan for the liquidation of your real or personal property, call us at 252-257-4822 or visit our web-site at www.cansellnow.com .