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Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ provides research-informed practical strategies to optimize your inheritance planning and protect your family relationships when passing on personal possessions.
Few families escape making decisions about passing on personal possessions. Paring down and deciding if and how to transfer personal possessions is inevitable when a family member downsizes, declutters, moves or dies. While it may seem simple, decisions about personal property can be challenging and lead to serious family conflicts.
Learn about tips and information about decisions on how to pass on personal possessions.
Workbook — This 108-page workbook walks you through the entire process, from understanding the issues, identifying objects to transfer, reviewing distribution options, and managing conflicts.
Workbook CD — This interactive CD walks you through the entire process, from understanding the issues, identifying objects to transfer, reviewing distribution options, and managing conflicts.
Video — This 38-minute video is filled with practical suggestions, proven strategies, and real-life stories to help family members understand and address common decision making obstacles when passing on personal possessions.
Key articles — Take a look at these articles that you can print and share.
Passing on Personal Possessions and Inheritance Decision Making: A Top Ten List
"So, Why Aren't We Talking"? Tips for Jumpstarting Estate Planning Conversations
Podcast (for estate executors) — This 52 minute podcast, “Facing the Great Divide and Who Gets What Inherited Memories,” is for executors or personal representatives involved in decisions about passing on personal property.
Are You Prepared quizzes (for owners, receivers, executors) — Assess how prepared you are and learn what to do next.
Workshop facilitator's toolkit — This toolkit will help you facilitate workshops on inheritance planning using Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ resources.
DVD — This 13-minute video (on DVD) explains six factors important in successful transfer of personal, non-titled property. This is a perfect companion to the workbook for families.
Workshops — Do you have a group of people in Minnesota who would benefit from knowing more about transferring non-titled property? If so, the Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ workshop is for you!
Descriptive program flyer (pdf) — Two page flyer you can use to learn about Who Get's Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate™
Family stories — Perhaps the best way to learn about how we are all affected by the issue of personal property inheritance is to understand the experiences of real families.
About this Program
This project serves as a model for how research can help address critical issues facing today's families, a goal of the land-grant university Extension system. Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ was created in response to the following needs:
- There are powerful messages in "who gets what" in times of inheritance, including personal possessions. Personal property may or may not have much financial worth, but often has a great deal of sentimental or emotional value.
- Families often find inheritance decisions about non-titled personal property more challenging than titled property.
- While many are familiar with the need to have a legal will before they die, few have planned ahead to include non-titled property in the decision-making process.
- When families fail to make informed decisions about personal possessions, misunderstandings and conflicts can lead to damaged family relationships and costly court battles. Planning ahead allows for more choices, the opportunity for better communication about what "fair" means, and results in fewer misunderstandings and conflicts.
- As baby boomers and their parents and parents-in-law age, more and more families will be faced with inheritance decisions. Almost everyone will face this issue at some point in their lifetime.
- Few educational resources available to help family members make informed decisions.
- Very little research about families and inheritance decision-making, especially regarding non-titled property.
Whether planning in advance for your own personal possessions, or working with family members to distribute property after a death, WGGYPP offers a range of free and for sale resources that can help overcome common decision making challenges. No matter who you are in the process — older parent, spouse, adult child, educator, legal professional, or social services practitioner — the Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ resources can help you:
- Bring up often sensitive inheritance issues for discussion.
- Identify what is most important to accomplish.
- Decide what "fair" means for your family.
- Understand what objects are meaningful to others and why.
- Select distribution and transfer methods that fit goals.
- Prepare a legally appropriate list of non-titled property.
- Consider how to deal with conflicts before they arise.
This project was originally developed by a team of researchers and educators from University of Minnesota Extension.
The lead researcher and author for the project is Marlene S. Stum, Ph.D., professor and Extension specialist in family social science. Her expertise includes more than thirty years of research and teaching, offering a family economics and social gerontology lens to address decisions facing later life families. Find out more about Dr. Stum’s work here: Family Social Science: Marlene Stum.
The original project team included Extension educators with financial management expertise and many years of adult education expertise. These team members were located in the network of county Extension throughout Minnesota and included:
- Claire J. Althoff, Wilkin County
- Mary J. Anderson, Wright County
- Shirley L. Barber, Ramsey County
- Christy A. Bubolz, Koochiching County
- Sharon S. Knutson, Norman County
- Charles L. Leifeld, Washington County
- Elizabeth H. Russell, Chippewa County