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Looking For Helpful Ideas As EXECUTOR OF THE WILL (PIOG)

Posted by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM
  • 11 Replies


My grandfather just died this weekend.  My mother is listed as the executor of the will.  She has 3 sisters.  Anyway, everything that was listed in the will ofcourse will have to go to the person it is willed to.  Ofcourse there are many things which are not listed in the will.  My mother is trying to figure out the best, most fair way for that stuff to be given out without causing any type of family conflict~~~One of my aunts is very greedy and one of my aunts is just very headstrong and is one of those "if you give her an inch she'll take a mile" type of people.  These two are the ones my mother is more nervous about .  She's afraid that they may too easily take more than they should and not leave things for other family members.  Being the executor, my mother is the one who can take control of all that.  She just needs to figure out how.  She was talking to me last night about possibilities.  Finally I thought and told her that maybe I could squeeze some thoughts or ideas out of you ladies.

One idea that was mentioned by my aunts was to allow everyone to go through the house and put a sticky note with their name on it on everything they want.  The problem with that is that one of my aunts will probably put her name on EVERYTHING, and ofcourse we would have to figure out what to do about things that more than one person wants.

What my mom thought of was to set everyone in a circle and take turns getting one thing (kids, then grandkids, then great grandkids).  Then ofcourse continue the same thing until we're through.  Ofcourse then there is a possibility that something we really want will be taken before it is our turn again.

Those are two ideas that have been brought up/thought of so far but ofcourse we see real flaws with both ideas.  We are looking for more ideas or pieces of advice from anyone who might have experience in dealing with this situation or from anyone else who might just have some ideas.

Thank You


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by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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by Member on Jul. 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM
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the sticky idea is a great idea, and if more than one person puts their name on an item, their names goes into a hat for that particular item and whoevers name is picked gets the item.

so example.  tv, 6 people want it.  take those 6 names put it into a bag and have someone (who didnt want it,  or if everyone wants it, a neighbor) pick a name out of the bag.

or have your mother take the items and just divy them up as she pleases

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM
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If an item was given to them by someone, that item goes back to the person who gave it to them. Thats the only help i have
by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 5:18 PM


by Silver Member on Jul. 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I personally wouldn't get into the grand and great grandkids I would just do it with your Mom and aunts. Have everything in the house appraised so you know its value. There are going to be some things that may have sentimental value to take into consideration, maybe after everything is appraised group it into values and each picks an item, and continue on. If no one wants it donate it or consign it and divide the proceeds.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM
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Give each one 3 (or however many) post it notes they can choose according to the # of post it's they have.  More than one, I like the raffle idea.  So they each get an equal # of items.  Or sell it all and distribute the cash.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM
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My parents have had to deal with this and it was very stressful.  The first thing to remember is that there is no way she will make everyone happy.  Somebody will complain and have hard feelings no matter what.  All she can do is try to come up with a fair approach and stick to it.

I agree with the pp who said, limit it to your Mom and Aunts.  Don't get into the grandchildren, except for possibly items of only sentimental value (after the sisters have first dibs).  Stuff needs to be divided equally among the 4 sisters and when you start letting the grandkids and great grandkids get in on it, then those with larger families end up with much bigger "shares".  (And it also doesn't account for great-grandchildren who many not have been born yet).  Each of THEIR four children should get an equal share and then they are responsible for passing on what becomes "theirs" to their own children in the future as they see fit.

Anything of significant value (cars, antiques, etc.) needs to be appraised and divided equally.  If there are enough items of similar value for everybody to get one, then do so.  If not, then the item needs to be sold and the profits divide or the sister who gets it needs to compensate the other 3 a fair share.

For smaller, household or personal type items of lesser value I'd take a round-robin approach.  For the 4 sisters, pick the order in which they will choose . . . birth order, how their birthdays fall on the calendar, draw from a hat, etc.  Then, in order, each one can pick 1 item, then it moves to the next person.  Continue on until all items are taken. That way each person has a reasonably fair chance at getting some things that they want.

Good luck! :)


by Bronze Member on Jul. 1, 2013 at 6:06 PM
We went thru this recently. Money wise unless set up otherwise divide between the kids. Then with all the kids go thru the house piece by piece. If 2 of them want the item, make them decide between them who gets that item and the next item they both want the opposite person automatically gets. Either that or give everyone so many post it's at a time (say maybe 5) and if 2 people want the same item the same type of scenario make them decide between them who gets it. I would let the kids have as much as they want first then let grand kids and finally great grand kids have their picks.
by Member on Jul. 1, 2013 at 10:59 PM

When my DH's grandma died the fighting was bad enough that they finally decided to aution everything off and divide the proceeds. If anyone really wanted something they could buy it at the auction.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 11:20 PM

What if each person goes through the house and writes a list of what they want.  Then your mother can take the lists, split out what people want that doesn't cross over, and that's at least a start.

Then maybe hand back the lists of what's left, and ask people to list why they want the items listed, specifically by item, and do some mediation with the people who want overlapping items?

It's a sucky place for your mom to be in, but someone has to be there, and it sounds like she's the most grounded one.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 11:23 PM

She doesnt really decide that stuff.  The remainder goes to probate and a judge splits it up.  Your mom could be sued if she starts passing out things she isnt entitled to disseminate.

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