I am back after a few weeks of slow estate planning news and 14+ days in Europe.

The story about the family who found a collection of pristine, old baseball cardsvalued at $3 million in their aunt’s attic is interesting for reasons other than the discovery of unknown  valuable assets.  First, it is very rare that an individual’s personal items are worth more than a few cents on the dollar.  Even more rare is the family that is drawn closer together when dividing personal items.

My experience is that distributing personal property, no matter how small the value, can lead to acrimony and hostile feelings between heirs.  To prevent acrimony, individuals should specify which heir is to receive specific items in a memorandum.  Any hostile feelings can then be directed to the deceased and relations among siblings can be preserved. Hopefully.