Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Estate Planning with Peace and Harmony

I have lived through a variety of events (at least four that I recall) where loved ones have passed away and their estate was divided. The first I remember was my Uncle Ted's house that was chock full of lovely items and a few not so lovely things like dusty stuffed things that were once animals....They were creepy and almost something you imagined might come to life in the dark....

The most memorable division of items was when Grandma Ireland's estate was divided and the three sisters spent hours and had spreadsheets splitting things up. It may have not exactly been pleasant.  I wasn't there, but it sounded contentious. 

So, in my mind? Avoid something similar at all costs. Make your wishes known up front. Totally wish my Grandma had done that if circumstances had allowed it. 

Now, it's not like I'm going to fight with anyone myself. I am an only child, but I have two kids and I'd like things to be straight forward with my estate which of course will eventually a very long time in the future, involve furniture and art belonging to my parents. 

Basically, the sum total in my mind? There are at least three different estates wrapped up in my parents house and if you asked me where something came from in particular in their house? I'd fail miserably. 

So, I asked really nicely for a cliff note book. One that said what came from where. 

It is similar to scrapbooking in that if you don't know the particular story behind something, it loses meaning over time. I am sure there are piece of art that were owned by my Grandma that have great stories that have somewhat been lost as they were never relayed. Case in point is the china which was supposedly used at the White House by a president. NOW, that would be a really good story to know, don't cha think?

Now, these albums could have been done digitally or by scrapbooking, but I more wanted something "down and dirty" where it didn't take huge amounts of time. Now, looking at this book, it still took my Mom quite some time to make. Plus, she made two. 

I have two kids so she wrote both of them a note in the front. 

I have a similar book myself that I need to at least start. I'd like Luke to know that the china that I inherited from Nate's family will someday belong to his wife and how it survived a house fire. 

And while you are reading this, please rest assured I am not really into "things" but into peace, harmony, and preserving family history. Life is way too short to be bitter about not getting Uncle Ted's stuffed and dusty raccoon. 


  1. Wait until Mitra finds the letter she wrote about a paining that involves a car repair of Nate's while in College!
    Besides we realized that remembering the stories is harder after all these years!

  2. Great idea but all my kids want of mine is my fold up adjustable ironing board with wheels and they BOTH want that!!

  3. great idea, my SIL's are going to be very unpleasant to each other when the time comes - not looking forward to that - but my MIL won't do anything about it either..

    love the idea of writing down the story behind each piece, makes it all very special. xx

  4. What a wonderful thing your mother has done for your kids! Memory keeping at it's best!!

  5. yah, I don't get the whole taxidermy thing...cool for some, creepy for me. Great post Mitra. I'm in the same boat as you. Only child, two kids and a heap load of things coming down the pike to inherit. Suppose I open a museum for storage reasons. Like you said, things are just things but certain things mean so much when you know their history. Love the binding of those books too. Kudos to your Mom for all the hard work she put into those. :)

  6. this is my favorite post to date. maybe it's because your parent's photo is in it, or maybe because these stories are just so darned important and interesting. and they may be even more so to people that we never get to meet! as in, generations down the line... fantastic idea and even better follow through.


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