Distributing possessions to your children is a challenging part of settling an estate. It is more difficult dividing personal belongings compared to money.

Planning ahead of time how you want to divide your jewelry, dishes, furniture, photos, artwork, clothing or silverware may help alleviate some family stress and tension after your death.

1. Get appraisals.

If some of your possessions hold significantly more value than other assets, deciding who will get what can become fairly difficult. Having an accurate value of your personal property assessed may leave your children feeling more satisfied, knowing that they can choose items of similar value.

2. Use a color labeling method.

Have each person stick colored labels to indicate which item he or she wants. If an item only has one sticker, then it will go to that child. If an item has more than one sticker, the family members can go in rounds selecting what they want.

3. Make copies.

Order copies of videos and pictures. You might not duplicate other personal belongings, but these types of items as copies are essentially the same as the originals. You can appease more family members by making copies.

4. Hire a mediator.

If you foresee conflicts arising amongst your family over some of the items in your estate, you can choose to work with a mediator. Bringing in a neutral third party can help your relatives get to the root of their interests and also help heal any issues rather than letting tensions escalate.

Overall, coming up with a method to divide the valuables from your estate may help lessen the stress on your children in the future.