Families in Florida know that dividing up a loved one’s tangible possessions after they die is one of the thorniest issues in settling the estate. One family used a very creative method to divide property that other families should consider as they seek to maximize family harmony at a difficult time in their lives.

This particular family assembled a list of all of the items of the estate. Family members were allowed to specify which items interested them. Some items were not wanted by anyone while others were chosen by only one person. Those were the easier items to settle.

For the items that more than one person wanted, each family member was given 500 poker chips to use in bidding on the items. They were able to submit bids, and the people running the auction tallied who the leading bidder was for each item, awarding the item to the winner. Family members were not informed of what the winning bid was. After the auction was completed, each person’s share of the monetary estate was adjusted to reflect for the amount of property they received. Even though this process was time-consuming and took three months to carry out, the family’s harmony was not only preserved but was enhanced at the conclusion of the auction.

Families should have an estate plan to help prepare for difficult situations that arise when a family member passes away. An estate planning lawyer may help set a course of action ahead of time so that families can have peace of mind knowing that the distribution of the estate will proceed smoothly. This will help keep families together even when they are dealing with the loss of a beloved relative. Estate planning lawyers may help families divide property via trusts and wills.