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bequeathing personal possessions

(76 Posts)
Fennel Sun 12-May-19 16:53:50

Now well into my 80s I'm beginning to think about the personal possessions I'll bequeath to my 3 children.
Financially there should be a small amount for each of them, but I'm quite attached to my few personal things and would like them to by shared fairly.
Some paintings, old photos and letters, newspaper cuttings, jewellery (not valuable) etc.
Have others faced these decisions - what did you do?

yggdrasil Sun 12-May-19 16:56:52

Ask them now if they would like them. Then you can put a sticker on those. And don't forget the grandchildren, they may have choices their parents don't have

aggie Sun 12-May-19 17:03:49

And be prepared for them not to want anything !

crazyH Sun 12-May-19 17:05:19

Yes, I have thought about it - I have one daughter and 2 sons. My daughter will get all my jewellery, Except I will leave one or two pieces each for my
The d.i.l.s will inherit from their mothers anyway, who probably have more Jewellry than I have.

shandi6570 Sun 12-May-19 17:12:18

A tricky problem, I have found that the items I value, both monetary and sentimental wise, my two daughters have very little interest in and the grandchildren even less. Sad but true, we certainly live in a different world now.

BlueBelle Sun 12-May-19 18:28:38

I’ve thought about this too I don’t own any jewellery or other items of value so no problems there however I would hate my photos (a huge collection of albums and boxes) and my two boxes of family history to go astray
I ve asked all the grandkids and no one really seems interested, how sad for me but I won’t know will I ?

Sara65 Sun 12-May-19 18:45:29

I don’t really own any jewellery, I haven’t worn my wedding/engagement rings for years, I honestly don’t know where they are!
I think my daughters would keep all the photo albums, and my youngest daughter says she want all the Christmas decorations, added to over 40+ years!
I’m sure they’ve got their eye on various bits of furniture, but sadly, I daresay, that most of it will end up in a skip!

BBbevan Sun 12-May-19 18:55:36

I have quite a lot of good paintings. Each has a sticker on the back with the name of the person I bequeath it to. The rest of my stuff, jewellery etc they can sort out amongst themselves

vickymeldrew Sun 12-May-19 19:05:59

When my mother was alive she always worried about who to leave her jewellery to. Not particularly valuable, but items accumulated over the years and with sentimental value. Having two daughters and one daughter in law she was unable to decide who should have what and feared we would ‘fall out’ over some items. In reality, when that sad day arrived, my sister and I sat on mum’s bed and shared the items out. First choice to the eldest and we took turns afterwards. We reserved a couple of pretty pieces for our sister in law and other items for nieces. The very act of sharing brought us closer together. Mum would have been very happy.

mcem Sun 12-May-19 19:06:15

Have 3 lovely necklace/ bracelet sets of Ortak silver and each DGD has chosen her favourite.
DS has chosen a carved camphorwood chest brought from India by my DGPs.
Other jewellery is for 2 DDs and 2DiLs.
My engagement ring would fit only DiL and I may give it to her now to celebrate the birth of their son last month.
These are the most sentimental articles so the rest they can sort out!

SisterAct Sun 12-May-19 19:29:35

My mum asked us (2 girls 2 boys) if we wanted anything and was prepared for us to say no and we put stickers on. Specific things she just bequeathed us.

She had 4 rings and left us each one. She loved her Dils but left the rings to her sons ‘for the partner of their choice to wear’. This was because one of my brothers years before had previously been divorced and she wanted to ensure they stayed on our side of the family, if there was a problem.

As for photos I am wading through large boxes of photos and memorabilia. Mum. had written on the back who people were. I have shredded loads of views !!!! And yes some people. I can’t keep it all.

notanan2 Sun 12-May-19 19:32:42

It depends on the dynamics. I'm not "girlie" and have no interest in jewellery, but love furniture.

I would have no interest in or love for any jewellery left to me. I would prob offer it to other relatives and if no takers, sell it! IMO it would be a shame for me to keep it going tarnished in a drawer...

... so dont worry too much about sharing "fairly". People wont necessarily zone in on the same/obvious things

Sara65 Sun 12-May-19 19:50:15

When I left home my granny gave me a ring which had belonged to her mother, I was the only one with small enough fingers, by the end of the first term I’d lost it! A while later she gave me a locket, it met the same fate!
I suppose what I’m saying, is that I’m not very sentimental, I haven’t got anything special to leave my children, and I won’t really mind what they do with all my stuff!

rubysong Sun 12-May-19 20:21:42

My late DM left a list of which of us children and grandchildren was to have which item. The rest of the ornaments etc the three of us children took turns in choosing. This was in addition to the actual will. We have made wills but I'm hoping to have plenty of time to decide about jewellery etc when the DGC are more grown up. I can't see any of the family wanting our furniture ornaments etc.

Iam64 Sun 12-May-19 20:24:42

vickymeldrew, your experience of sitting and sharing your mother's jewellery after her death is exactly what we sisters did. We gathered mum's jewellery in a box and sat together going through each piece. If there was a piece we all would have liked, it was put to one side. By the time we concluded, there were enough 'special' pieces for each of us to take our favourites. As with your experience, it brought us closer.

FlexibleFriend Sun 12-May-19 20:25:55

They can do what they like with my stuff when I'm gone even it involves several trips to the tip. I have things that I love but if they don't want them I won't be upset. Most of my stuff is newish and good quality so I'd hope they'd find a few takers for it all.

Iam64 Sun 12-May-19 20:35:10

The experience of getting our parents home ready to sell after both had died was a real life lesson. We were lucky, it made us closer but I have friends who fell out with siblings at that time and remain estranged.
One of the life lessons for me was to try to stop gathering things, holding on to things/cards/books for sentimental reasons. I'm much clearer about clothes and other items off to the charity shop, I have a clearcut spring and autumn minimum. Anything that hasn't been worn for 6 months goes to the charity shop. I recycle all Christmas/birthday/other cards immediately. Only small things but I hope to avoid my children spending weeks/months going through piles of stuff.

BradfordLass72 Sun 12-May-19 20:43:54

I have nothing of any value, most of my furniture is 2nd hand, some from my parent's home and dating from early 70's.

There's little in the bank so I've made my Will to make sure my Executor has total say over what is given to the only two people left in my family.

I have kept a diary for over 40 years (yes, some of you feature in it!) and that goes to my younger son.

Once the funerary expenses are paid, there may be enough to buy them a cup of coffee - but I doubt it.

PamelaJ1 Sun 12-May-19 20:45:04

Vickymeldrew, that’s what my sisters and I will do.
Mum does not want to think about it so we’ll deal with it when it happens.
I lost my wedding and engagement ring a few years ago. When I replaced them I bought a combination set comprising 4 rings - 2 for each of my girls.

Sara65 Sun 12-May-19 20:49:01

I had the same experience with my mother in law, after she moved into a home, it took my husband, children and myself weeks to go through everything, she had clothes which must have been going back 50 years, every menu, brochure program of everywhere she’d ever been, every card ever sent her, hundreds of postcards received.
Some of it made us sad because there were lots of lists she’d made, when it became clear to her, that her memory was failing .
But it made me determined to get rid of anything I don’t need, we got a skip in and sorted out the garage and attics, and took loads to the charity shop, I’m determined not to let it slip!

M0nica Sun 12-May-19 21:19:03

My sister died in a road accident when DC were 17 and 19. Seeing the family dismantling her home and sharing out her belongs (amicably) combined with their grief, when they were home one day they started discussing how one day they would have to do this when we died. They then walked round our house deciding what they would want to keep from our possessions.

They told us about it later and the things they wanted to keep as memories of childhood and their parents were not always the things I would have expected. They too decided things quite amicably.

So that is how I am leaving it. I will make no dispositions of my belongings in my will, they can sort it out between them. I know DGC will be included and I have already told DGD that she can have the beautiful Chinese sewing cabinet, my own DM brought home form Hong Kong.

When I suggested, as they both live some distance from us, that they take what they want and get in house clearers, there was a howl of protest. They said that that that the taking apart of our home and deciding where everything will go is part of the mourning process.

I must admit DH and I have found this so when we have had to deal with disposing of the belongings and homes of those closest to us and, with one exception, most of them lived long enough for us to have retired by the time it happned so that we had the time to deveote to it.

newnanny Sun 12-May-19 23:39:34

When I got divorce from first husband I offered all of my jewellery he had bought me over years to our dd. She refused it because it was yellow gold. I then gave each of my nieces and great nieces one piece each. They were happy with it. My newer jewellery which is platinum will be split between dd and 2 nieces who did not get something from me before. My 2 sons will get my shares to be split between them. I know at some point I really need to go through my stuff and get rid of a lot of things I no longer have a use for, and not leave it to dh or dc after I die.

newnanny Sun 12-May-19 23:44:08

MY sister has photographed all of her jewellery and written a name next to each item and laminated them and left in box with her will. She is so organised not like me.

harrigran Mon 13-May-19 09:21:46

I don't do costume jewellery so mine is valuable but I am not sure that it will be to the taste of GDs by the time I shuffle off. I would like to think DD and DIL would take a few pieces as mementos.
My sister has claimed first dibs on my Mulberry handbags, she is many years younger than me so she will probably get to enjoy them.

Lovetopaint037 Mon 13-May-19 09:26:12

I always admired a broach belonging to my grandmother and she used to say half jokingly that she would leave it to me in her will. However, she gave it to me when I got engaged. She saw how delighted I was and as things worked out after she died and my grandfather married again but only lived a few years after I would never have had it. Wills were not made by either of my grandparents and my mother didn’t ask his second wife for anything after he had died. Then when she also died my mother asked for her father’s First World War medals (he was at the Somme) but the family said they couldn’t find them. I remember the medals and the little tin full of objects sent to soldiers at the time. So little hope for my broach which is a lovely Victorian turquoise heart surrounded by diamonds which is visible on the old photos of my lovely granny. So I say give away before you die.