Markets in everything, family auction edition

David Altshuler recently bid at auction for a vintage necktie.

The event wasn’t set up by an auction house or to
benefit a charity. Instead, he was bidding against his two siblings in
a private, Web-based auction that they held to divvy up their late
father’s personal property.

Distributing a family’s tangible belongings — often
mundane knickknacks with far more sentimental value than monetary worth
— has long had the potential to ignite family feuds.  Divorce and
second marriages can add to the tension, as children and stepfamilies
vie for valued objects.

Now, families and estate planners increasingly are
turning to a number of novel strategies, including family auctions and
a round-robin selection strategy, to divide tangible property without
splitting families apart.  Recent online tools also can help family
members divide up a parent’s belongings.

Here is the (gated) article (WSJ).  For the pointer, thanks to both Don Boudreaux and a Sr. McKethan.


Comments for this post are closed