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Tips for Dividing up Your Family Heirlooms

The more things are spelled out, the easier on surviving family.

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Losing a family member is an experience that can test even the bonds of blood. Take grief, throw in a little stress and then add some valuable family heirlooms, and you have a recipe for disaster. People do unusual things in the throes of sadness, especially if there's an expensive antique dining table for the taking. You love your sister, but that table truly doesn't go with anything in her house. And that brother of yours, the prodigal son, all but ditched the family years ago, so he certainly shouldn't be able to lay claim to it. That table is rightly yours; Dad would have wanted it that way. Unfortunately, he never put it in writing.

You, too, will eventually pass away, leaving heirlooms for your loved ones. The decisions you make now will ensure the smooth transition of those valuables to the next generation.

Here are five tips for divvying up those heirlooms, whether you're on the giving or receiving end.

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