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Inheritance, Family Conflict & Resolution

Inheritance, Family Conflict & Resolution

| Andrew Fabrikant

Family conflicts over inherited jewelry can be emotional and challenging to navigate.   "I have seen families fall apart once the family matriarch passes.  Most of the time, the children have a different style from their mothers and each other.  The kids fight about the most valuable items and often don't worry about the resentment that can grow."

 1.  Communicate openly: After getting the jewelry valued for fair or market value by an estate jewelry expert.  Encourage family members to share their feelings and perspectives on the situation.  Listen actively and avoid becoming defensive.  Seek to understand the underlying concerns and emotions involved.

2.  Establish ground rules: Set boundaries around the discussion to avoid hurtful or disrespectful comments.  Focus on finding a mutually acceptable solution that honors the wishes of the deceased and the needs of the living.

3.  Seek mediation: If the conflict becomes unresolvable, you should consider hiring a professional jeweler with experience navigating estates who can help facilitate a productive conversation and find common ground.

4.  Be mindful of each heir's different socio and economic situations.  Spouses of heirs will have opinions, and siblings will be in various financial positions.

5.  You should only distribute jewelry with an experienced buyer's valuation first.  Suppose the value of the jewelry is a significant factor in any conflict.  In that case, the only wise option is to sell the diamonds and jewelry to ensure everyone receives an equitable share.

6.  It is impossible to split jewelry evenly; it is often the most valuable piece that siblings fight over.

7.  Selling jewelry is the easiest and conflict-free way to divide assets.

Remember that the emotions involved can run deep and take time to heal.

We have seen many families lose themselves over jewelry and perceived values.  

Jewelry is often included in the will, either because it was gifted before it became part of the estate or to avoid taxes.  Do not rely on insurance schedules or retail appraisals to establish values.  Jewelry is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  Once you have found actual value, distribution decisions become more straightforward.