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A Treasured Keepsake

Treasured keepsake

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You've always admired your mother's sapphire brooch, which she promised you several years ago. Likewise, your brother was counting on Dad's expensive chain saw. But when your parents passed away, your youngest brother and his wife—who live in the same town—took it all. What do you do?

The high ground is to appreciate that your memories are the most important reminder of your mother and your relationship with her. If you can calmly talk to your brother and sister-in-law, try it. "You have no way of knowing this, but a year ago Mom promised me her sapphire brooch. You have this item of Mom's (assuming that the sister-in-law has some other possession of your mother's). It would mean a lot to me to have the brooch and comply with Mom's wishes." Hope for the best and take comfort that you tried and brought the issue to the forefront. That way the topic won't fester and you don't have to wonder. Encourage your brother to use a similar tactic regarding the chain saw.

If your sister-in-law won't part with the brooch, make the best of it. Try not to let it break up your relationship with your brother. Ask if you could borrow the pin to wear on special occasions. Also, take the pin to a professional photographer and have a close-up shot taken of the brooch. Frame the photo and display it in a prominent place in your home. If you have a photo of your mother wearing the pin, display that in the same place. It won't be the same as owning or wearing the pin, but at least you'll have a remembrance of the memento.

Please download the guide: 50-50 Rule® Brochure (PDF 950K).

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Last revised: December 29, 2010

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Posted by Margaret Sullivan

    In my experience, this example is not realistic nor are the suggestions in how to deal with it. Taking a picture is not going to placate anyone. They need the executor of the will to make a decision on who will receive the jewelry or they need a professional mediator.


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