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(2008)How does a family decide who receives cherished personal or heirloom items when a loved one passes away?

Some people leave a detailed list describing who should inherit which items. Others give away important possessions before dying.

But if no instructions are left, family members can find it difficult to distribute personal property fairly, especially when items of great value – sentimental or otherwise – remain.

In a few unfortunate cases, disputes over personal possessions can leave family members estranged from each other permanently.

To prevent hard feelings, or simply to make it easier to divvy up property fairly, families can turn to an on-line website for help.

The site, eDivvyup.com, works like an auction, allowing family members to bid according to the value each person attaches to particular items.

One family member catalogs the possessions and assigns points or credits to other family members, who then bid on items in the catalog. For example, a daughter may bid most of her points on a cherished painting, but would then have fewer points to bid on remaining items.

The service costs $49 to list 50 items, but more items can be listed for an additional cost.

“What was once a great source of tension can now be a source of healthy interaction as family members witness and participate in the bidding process,” according to the website. “The process is completely equitable and can even be a fun way for the family to bond together during their time of loss.”

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