Episode 15

March 24, 2023


#29 | David MacMahan | Sibling Rivalry: How to Get a Fair Split

Hosted by

Tony Siebers Bina Colman
#29 | David MacMahan | Sibling Rivalry: How to Get a Fair Split
Parent Projects - Aging In America
#29 | David MacMahan | Sibling Rivalry: How to Get a Fair Split

Mar 24 2023 | 00:41:46


Show Notes

David MacMahan is the founder and president of FairSplit.com, a long-time entrepreneur, and someone who challenges the status quo. Over the past eleven years of working with families dividing estates, he is now widely recognized as the leading industry expert on estate division of personal property. He has personally helped navigate the family dynamics in hundreds of those divisions and has helped all involved understand the places heirs are coming from in unique family situations. He is often hired to serve as Administrator of the FairSplit process but also as an independent third-party mediator to help keep tensions down between family members and reduce the pressure on executors of the estate by providing that independent, third-party role who isn’t emotionally involved.

Looking for information? Parent Projects takes the stress and intimidation out of the process for families relocating an aged loved one using our educational and self-help downsizing guides found at www.parentprojects.com. Through our “Verified” Business Network, advocates can access the pre-screened professional services they need on their terms with the financial and personal safety peace-of-mind their families deserve.


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00:00 – Intro

00:12 – Welcome to Parent Projects Podcast

01:14 – Introduction to David McMahan of Fairsplit

02:23 – How David Found His Calling

07:55 – FairSplit.com Ad

09:28 – Things You can Do to Help Prepare for a Fair Split of Property

12:28 – FairSplit Article: 5 Tips to Dividing Your Family Estate Peacefully

15:34 – Determining the Value of the Estate

25:57 – Tour of Arizona Skysong Ad

27:30 – Wearing the Heir Hat

31:40 – Communicating with Your Family About the Estate

37:45 – Final Thoughts

40:27 – Outro

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Parent Projects™ Podcast is a resource of stories, interviews, and tips to help families replace guilt and fear with a little love and laughter.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:09 You're listening to parent Projects. Speaker 2 00:00:14 Hi guys, and welcome to this, uh, week in our sibling rivalry month, uh, you know, a dividing things and not the family. It's a concept that seems to get lost pretty easily when we're sorting and we're distributing a, a lifetime of treasures that have been collected by our family, by our parents. Uh, today we're gonna talk with industry expert and a developer of a proven system that divides personal property between heirs, David McMahon. If your family's downsizing a loved one and stuff will play a role in your parent project. Stay tuned. Speaker 1 00:01:06 You're listening to Parent Projects, a Family Media and Technology Group Production. Now here's your host, Tony Sievers. Speaker 2 00:01:16 Hey everybody. I'm really blessed to have an opportunity to sit down with somebody who is a part of my, uh, early journey into, um, into parent projects. It's senior moves.org. When I started working with the complexities of family, dealing with, uh, with downsizing, uh, one thing that's always been common into downsizing is there's usually stuff that's gotta be dealt with, and it's not something we're good at. And there's a lot of reasons. I, I, our guest today, David McMahon's, one of the first people who taught me that it's okay to not be good at it because it might be the only time in my life I ever have to do it. So, we're gonna, um, I'm blessed to bring in, Hey David, thanks for joining us Speaker 3 00:01:55 Today. Hi, Tony. Nice to see you. Speaker 2 00:01:57 Great to see you today. Um, you know, we've, again, we've gone back quite a few years now. It is, uh, and, uh, long before I decided that I was gonna focus on, on how we could to really fix this problem for everyone else, it was just really trying to understand this upfront for, for even me. And you played a role, obviously, uh, with Fair split.com s play a role in my life multiple times, uh, personally. So, uh, tell how did you, how how'd you come about dedicating a significant portion? I mean, from, from everything you've done in that corporate world have, you've put together a lot of different products and helped a lot of co companies. How is it that you, you settled on this problem in your Speaker 3 00:02:36 Life? Well, thanks Tony. Uh, yeah, you know, I had the chance to, um, have a lot of fun companies, but I, I have to say that, um, when I really looked back on them, uh, I, I personally probably was somewhat responsible for filling at least one or two landfills. I, I created a lot of products and sold millions of them that were injection molded, uh, styrofoam packaging. And I really wanted to, to, um, do something with a zero carbon footprint. And I also wanted to do something that actually had more true value to, to people rather than just making them laugh or some kind of a silly toy. So I got into, um, uh, my first.com, uh, software company. I started back in 2000, and it was partly also as a way to be home with my kids more, uh, rather than traveling to Asia and everywhere. Speaker 3 00:03:27 Um, I started that one. So I learned about the, uh, ability to offer something online that was available to everybody, anywhere. And that really appealed to me that I could make something available to everyone. But when I started, um, that first company that I started, it lasted 20 years. And, but, and then about 12 years ago, I saw that it wasn't gonna be the one that I finished with in my career. So I decided that I, what do I want? What else would I want to do? And so I thought, what's the best invention? I'd always been called an inventor. And I thought something that solves a problem for people, um, uh, helps solve a pain point in their lives. And so that had me reflect on what are the two things, or, or what things have been most painful for me. And I lost my dad really early in life, and my sister had to go to his house, find things that his mom, his sisters, uh, his three children would be able to hold on to, to remember him by. Speaker 3 00:04:25 He was only 46 years old. And so everyone wanted a small piece of something. But back in those days, I think there was telex machines or fax machines, not the ability to actually share online and easily ask people, Hey, would you like this? Or Would you like somebody else to have it? So I thought, gosh, there must be an easier way now with the internet. And then, uh, a few years, uh, just two or three years before I started this, I'd gone through a, a divorce after 15 years of being married. And it was amicable, but one of the hardest things was us walking through the house or discussing on the phone who got to keep what, and have it not be emotionally painful. I mean, we were both trying to create separate homes that would be, um, familiar and, and for our kids. And so we both really needed everything that was there. So it was for divorce and for the settling the estate, uh, helping people figure out what any anyone else wanted. So that, and, and there were, yeah. And there Speaker 2 00:05:29 Were a couple of commonalities between those circumstances. It sounds like they really Speaker 3 00:05:32 Resonated. There were, there were, it could be awkward emotionally, like, well, gosh, if you wanted, then you should have it. Even if I really wanted, it would be one. Um, what we see with sibling rivalries sometimes is, uh, well, you, I I, I talk about how you have a, uh, you have a kinda a passive sibling, and then you might have a more aggressive sibling. And the, and the more aggressive, well sure they're gonna ask for what they want, and then the more passive might be trying to, uh, pacify and, and make everybody else happy. So they're not choosing what they want because they think their older sister might have wanted it, or she looked at it like she might want it, and then they don't take it. And then the brother takes it because he knows his wife will like it. And the next thing you know, you've gone down this rabbit hole of people not actually choosing what they want and it not, and it, it having emotional things, uh, involved. Yeah. Now, not only that, the practical side, I mean, now very few people live anywhere near where mom and dad live, or at least not all the siblings. So Speaker 2 00:06:28 All the sit, Speaker 3 00:06:29 Right? Yeah. So then you end up having to figure out, well, how can we fly this sibling in or that one, or when can we all meet together? And what I, you know, realized was with online, you don't have to do that. You can just all log in. And so that's where the idea came from, and that was, gosh, over 12 years ago now. Speaker 2 00:06:47 Well, and despite that, just even the thoughts sometimes of, of, of walking as some, I know we're gonna get in the next segment, we'll get into some of those top things to think through. And the overarching feeling seems to be griefs impact on individual people as they walk through. This is something you have to kind of account for. But the walking through a house, I don't know if that's a a, a checkbox in life. Everybody thinks about doing, walking through mom and dad's house saying, yes, I want that. Or, I know I don't want that. Or like, that's just, it's not really a Speaker 3 00:07:14 No, it gets, it gets more complicated cuz you have to go into the closets, open the boxes, look under the bed. I mean, every, it, it's, uh, it's time consuming. It's emotional, like if you're the one doing it. And, uh, there are all these memories tied to things it can take twice as long as a professional coming in and doing it without that attachment. Speaker 2 00:07:33 Well, it's, um, what I'd like to do is take a quick break here. We're gonna show video that talks through where you went with that passion and what you understood from that, the fair split system, what it does, and how people in heirs or, or the legal system can really turn to and utilize this in order to help families work their way through this, through this particular task. Speaker 3 00:07:52 Thank you. Hi, I'm David, founder of fair split.com. Most families who find us just need an impartial system to create a division of personal property after losing a loved one. The good news is that we have that system Fair Split is an online private family account securely hosted by Amazon Web Services. It's simple and it works. In the past, property division was cumbersome, requiring all the parties to come together in person. It was costly, time consuming and stressful. Having the fair split system all online makes it transparent, efficient, fair, and accessible to all parties. This process requires no travel. Email detachments are big scheduling issues. I want you to know first and foremost that we want to help you. After all, there's no reason you should be good at this. It's likely the only time you've ever had to try to do it. My team and I are here to assist you. Whether you need experience to guidance with a more complex air situation or simple assistance, uploading photos, getting items listed, categorized, and ready for division. Even putting estimated values if needed, you can also literally have me help run the whole process for your family as administrator. We've helped thousands of errors and divorcing couples over the last 10 plus years. Many law firms, fiduciaries and trust companies now use fair split as their default way to divide tangible personal property. So welcome. I'm very glad you found us. Speaker 2 00:09:29 And for those of you that are joining us again this week, we've got David McMahon with fair split.com. He's an expert in really working in this estate settlement side of the house. He's a personal friend. Uh, I get this, I understand this. David, again, thanks for joining us. If, if, uh, you know, a f a family that's, that's going on to begin tackling something like this under their para project, where maybe it's a end of life stage, um, I don't know, maybe we could break this up in a couple of ways. L l let's, let's talk. How often do you see a family try to prepare for this before the death of a loved one? Or is this usually something that happens after? Speaker 3 00:10:08 You know, I, I wish, uh, <laugh> that we got that. I mean, it's certainly possible to use our system for state planning to get everything listed and assign it to who you want to have it. Um, uh, Tony, honestly, uh, 95% of the estates we work with, it's, it's because there's a pain point where the executor, the whichever sibling was named executor or trustee to handle this is overwhelmed and, and thinks, oh no. Like I, um, and, and the instruction left and the truster will is usually little more than and divide everything else equally among the kids. Speaker 2 00:10:44 <laugh>, Speaker 3 00:10:44 I mean, little, little beyond that. And so, um, yeah, no, I wish the estate plan, we actually removed it from our homepage. It used to be a third of what we promoted, uh, no one was using it. I wish it was not the case. And I wish, I hope that, uh, your show will help motivate people to get more, um, and, and your efforts will help people plan more, but either downsizing or, um, estate settlement after someone passes. In both cases, it's, it's how to mo how to get everything out of a three or four, five bedroom house. And Yeah. And you can't donate it till you're sure your siblings don't want it unless you wanna create ill will. So somehow you need to have everyone collectively see what's available and say yes or no, I want it or not, and who should get it. And, um, yeah, no, it, it happens after the fact, unfortunately, more than Speaker 2 00:11:35 Then, then before the fact, you know, the, um, one of the, so, so after the fact, there's probably, I think it's, uh, grief is gonna play some level of a, of a role. Sounds like when, when we're talking about trying to establish value, uh, or, or even desire, I mean, I guess that's even value in its own is, is something else to just to have a conversation about, uh, but desire as to where something's gonna go from that standpoint. So maybe we could tackle that down. You have on, on your website, on fair split.com, you've got a resources section and inside that resources section, one of the, um, one of the resources that you offer and have down there is a, a great article that talks to five tips of dividing your family estate peacefully. Um, could you mind any chance, just kind of break that down a little bit for us, um, as Speaker 3 00:12:24 Sure, yeah. And I won't go through, um, I won't go through each point, but I'll, but I'll hit the highlights is that basically everyone process is grief differently. And if you can stay empathetic, uh, I, I now talk about a concept called wear the air hat. If you're the executor or trustee, the H E I R hat is to help you remember that everyone processes grief differently. Uh, some people will want almost everything because mom touched it. It's, uh, it's sacred and it can't be given away, which may seem silly to some of the siblings. Uh, you may have a sibling that says, I I don't want anything. Uh, I don't want any, I don't wanna be, and it's sometimes they don't wanna be reminded, uh, that that's just how they process grief or their house is full. Um, so they want either nothing or very little. And some people can take offense to that. Well, gosh, you must not have blood Mom and dad, you don't want any other stuff, Speaker 2 00:13:19 Right? Speaker 3 00:13:20 So if you can leave the judgment out of it, that's gonna help so much. The other thing as, uh, I believe that leaving face-to-face out of it is better, uh, having our, uh, we've developed this blind system of choosing so that you're not actually reading, uh, the other person to see what they wanted. And, and you don't have spouses, uh, showing up that aren't always liked by all the other siblings. Uh, may maybe some do, some don't, but it's usually just adds a complicated element that can be best left alone. And then the other thing to realize is people think, well, mom and dad paid $10,000 for that baker sofa, and, uh, if you get that you owe, you owe me, you know, it's worth at least 5,000. Well, reality is in an estate sale, it's worth, I dunno, seven or 800 at max. Speaker 2 00:14:10 Right, right, right. That's I was gonna say, I mean, no. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:14:13 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:14:14 So I was just gonna say, some of the most painful parent projects that I'd ever done was where the family had decided, they were just absolutely determined they were gonna do an estate sale and or a garage sale of some level, and they wanted to sit out there. And in one, in one, I I can just, oh my gosh. So dad had these stein collections that he had spent a lifetime collecting, and they were gorgeous in their own right. Right. I mean, but, um, but these things went out there and this guy came up and he is like, uh, you know, I'll give you a two 50. And they're like, wow, $250. Okay, well that makes sense. There's like, like 20 or 30 of these things, and he is like, no, $2 and 50 cents each. Like, I'll give you two 50 for like a couple of these ones. And they're, man, like, the insult of it versus the shock of it. I mean, you could watch 'em process all of this emotion. One, it's, Speaker 3 00:15:09 And the other thing is, if you advertise that the sale is gonna start at 8:00 AM that they start knocking on the doors at 6:30 AM Speaker 2 00:15:16 Yeah. Th this is one of those guys that was here at like seven o'clock casing the place out ahead of time. Right. Speaker 3 00:15:21 Knocking on the door. Speaker 2 00:15:22 Yeah. No, no, no. And, and I mean, so he is the first one in the door. They didn't have, hadn't even had a chance to, to put it out there. And I tried to, I tried to dissuade them from, I just have never seen one go. But when it comes down again to, to sorting or working, I think one thing that it really drove home is that is yeah, that emotional value, right? If, if you really go out to market, the value of something is not what you think that is. And even these really higher, higher valued things, unless you know how, unless you're gonna spend the time to move it into that niche market that's going to pay, um, you know, that's, and, and in fact, that's a time in which if, if you're clearing out your parents' home and you find a chihuly, okay? Speaker 2 00:16:03 Uh, and if you don't know what a Chihuly is, then that would be a great first place to start by having somebody come in, right? But the, you're gonna want a glass expert that knows how to move that a hundred thousand dollars piece and y and they can be valuable, but that's, in most realities, you have to think about who's gonna pay that's gonna hire that person and come through and do that. Who's, who's gonna do all that? And is that a part of that? So if you're spliting kind of accommodate for some of those things within itself? Well, Speaker 3 00:16:28 We, we hope, we hope. I, you know, I think one of the greatest values we do sometimes is not just the software subscription. Uh, you know, they get, uh, depending on the package, they, they get 30 minutes to an hour with me just reviewing their Yeah. And I try to be available for whatever else they need. But, uh, we had a, a, a biggest state that the kids were all, they were all sure that the Silver collection, they had two giant silver collections that they'd been in the family over a hundred years. They were sure they were worth a quarter of million dollars. And because, because they had looked them up on Replacements Unlimited and saw what they're spelling for there. Right. So, sure. Um, finally I got them to, uh, say, well, look, look, I'm tired of you guys fighting about this. Let's get this settled before we start dividing. And because please reach out to Replacements Unlimited and see what they will pay you for it not what they're trying to sell it for 10 cents on the dollar. Speaker 2 00:17:18 Oh, gosh. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:17:19 And we ended up getting all, we got it all weighed and it became meltdown value of the silver, and all of a sudden, instead, it being a quarter of million dollars worth of silver, we were dividing it was $40,000 worth between five kids. So all of a sudden it wasn't worth destroying relationships over, and it became an easier family division for us to do once we got realistic on those values. Speaker 2 00:17:40 Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, one, one of the other things that I like out of that top tips, uh, and you kind of breeze through that upfront was, um, when you are, um, when there are many people that will introduce that or that feel as they're processing the grief of what's happening in this moment, right? There are some people who just wanna get the heck through it, and at that moment, they, they are not prepared to, to really adequately process or even accurately process their emotional value that they might hold off of things because their mindset's in that mode where, and I'm just trying to get to grief, and I know the other side of it is when we're not here, I'm not in this place. Um, how, you know, how, Speaker 3 00:18:21 And, and, you know, the sibling rivalry made me think about your, you know, their topic here is, uh, I'm working with the family right now, beautiful, sweet family, but, um, there are four of them. And one of the sisters just refuses to participate in the process. She keeps saying she's being rushed, that she does, and it's, I, we can, everybody knows that she doesn't wanna deal with looking at it and thinking we're gonna be done. Yeah. And, and so literally she sent emails that have taken her longer to compose than it would take to do our process and be finished. And all the sibling, the other siblings are ready to be done. It's in a storage. Some of the stuff's in storage, they're wasting estate money. And the other, uh, sibling is just hesitant to deal with it. And so that this comes up a lot. It's not unusual either. Speaker 2 00:19:04 Yeah. Any tricks of the trade that you've seen across that particular problem for a family? Speaker 3 00:19:11 Sometimes for me, being an independent third party, getting to speak with that person and let them express their feelings and not feel judged by me, uh, will let them let go of it. Yeah. Um, they, when they're speaking to their siblings, there's that sibling rivalry that instantly they feel judged, uh, they're not heard, all those things. Yeah. So I have, I've actually found, and again, it's been surprising to me when I thought I was building a software company, that sometimes the greatest value I provide to the family is almost just a, a shoulder or an ear that they can feel heard, uh, and that I've been through the process with thousands of families. So you're gonna be fine. This is how it's gonna go. And they just calm down. Yeah. Um, but yeah. But with the sibling, right? There's a book, uh, Julie Hall wrote, has written several books on this topic. And she says that when parents, when when you lose a parent, that all the siblings become eight years old again, and who was the favorite, who was the least favorite, who was always mom's pet child, all that stuff comes right to the surface. She said that, you know, it becomes like you're eight years old again. She's known as the estate lady, and, uh, she's mostly retired, but she had some good books out. And I, I came, I could never forget that because, um, that's, I do see that quite often. Speaker 2 00:20:28 Yeah. When, uh, another recommendation you talked about, which I found interesting, is reducing the face-to-face, which is counterintuitive for when you're processing, you know, emotional things. A lot of times, uh, we'll wanna be face-to-face so we can get a better read. We can understand where things are coming from that, but when grief is the overarching portion of that, and we might not, especially if we don't have any experience with grief, it's if it's your first family memory that you've really lost and had to process the finality of that we all will face inevitably. Right. Um, you know, that, that, that there's a rep, um, doing some, not all things are best done, uh, in the room together, uh, at, at a particular time. And, uh, and it sounds like you guys have found a lot of success with removing that aspect of it and trying to run at some level, if nothing else. Speaker 2 00:21:22 Look, for instance, let me ask, uh, first Ferris, well, let's say that you go through one of the rounds, okay? You, you photographed the house, everything's gone into the system. We've got, generally, we all agreed we're gonna use replacement value valuations from everything because it was important for mom to be equitable <laugh>. So we are, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna go off of something like that just to kind of balance all of this out, and we're still not tied at that point in time to have to make a decision exactly as what's come off of that system. It would make sense to take the next steps and now just activate or distribute everything per that system. But that doesn't mean conversations don't continue to happen, right? Speaker 3 00:21:58 Uh, that's right. I mean, our, our first round we call the asset review round, it's, it's really, you don't wanna start dividing things till everyone is pretty much in agreement that this constitutes everything that needs to be divided. Yeah. Uh, or that there aren't things mixed in there that shouldn't be. Like, I, I, I, I joke that one of the things when you do that first round with us, we call the yes no round. Does anybody want any of this? It's also to look and say, Hey, wait a minute, that vacuum cleaner, I loaned that to mom and dad two years ago. That shouldn't be getting, Speaker 3 00:22:30 I don't wanna have to, I don't wanna have to choose my own vacuum cleaner again. Right? Yeah. Um, you know, other things that'll come up, um, accidentally, you know, you're listing 500 things to divide. Things will get duplicated. You know, they'll be a painting that is shown in the bedroom, and it's also shown in the living room. Somebody moved it and photographed it again or something like that. So you wanna catch any things like that before you start taking turns choosing, because, um, obviously it's not gonna go well if it's duplicated or there's things that shouldn't chosen. Um, yeah. And it just is a good, uh, a good check for the person who had to do all the work, putting it together, uh, to have everybody review it all and say, Hey, do you see anything that's not right here? And then every now and then somebody will go, well, I don't see any of the Christmas ornaments. Speaker 3 00:23:16 You know, why aren't those listed? And they go, oh, no, that box in the basement, I put box one. Well, and then, you know, a sibling will go, well, wait a minute. We should be able to choose those ornaments. We all want some of those. So before you start dividing, you know, maybe they have to go back and open that box and lay them out on the floor and just take some quick pictures. Um, but you want to get all those things resolved before you actually start awarding things to, you know, people on choices. Well, and, and you did mention Tony, one thing, you, you mentioned, uh, replacement value for sure. You don't wanna value things as replacement value. You want value a estate sale garage sort sale value less 40% to cover the estate sale fees to get down to some close resemblance to a real value. If, if you're gonna track such things, Speaker 2 00:24:04 That's, uh, great, good. And it's a good, not just softball year to set you up for an easy one to knock out of the park, but that's, uh, I think that's an, that's, uh, highly important. So the, the, um, the system here and being able also to take some of the emotion, again in a highly emotional thing, things that we can do to reduce emotion and kind of just get down to the facts, love the idea particular of, um, of that yes, no round, not just making sure the things are correct. It's a great time to get an assessment, uh, in the front end of just assessing where everybody's at on this in general, that we're, where, what is it that we're really talking about? What are the things we're talking about? Where are people at utilizing that round just to kind of figure out? Well, Speaker 3 00:24:48 The, one of, one of the great things about that round is, uh, so now, you know, with your camera phone, you can go around, click, click, click, click. It's pretty fast to go ahead and record everything in the house. But realistically, let's say, uh, family lists 500 things. When after you do that round, if there's four kids and all four put no, or did not put yes on 200 of the items they didn't want, well, those legitimately now can go to sell or donate, right? Every everyone passed on them, no one had room for them in their house, or no one wanted them. And now, now the administrator, the the executor of the estate should be, should feel free. They, they, they've got validation. No one wants these things. So now I can start dealing with getting rid of them, and that whittles it down. Now you're only dividing 300 things instead of 500. Speaker 2 00:25:36 Makes it a heck of a lot easier. And, and that's a, a beauty of technology and I, and love how you've used that and how your mind's brought that together to leverage that, uh, this particular problem. Uh, we're gonna take our, our last commercial break here and just kind of highlight a couple other ways in which technology are being used to leverage and help families through their downsizing situations. I'm Tony Siber, I'm the founder of Parent Projects, and I'm gonna take you on a quick tour of the organization. Come on. The organization is full of surprises. And if you've seen one parent project, you've seen one parent project. So generally we just try to be mission driven, objective, virtuous, empathetic, and defendable. We call it being moved. Come on, and let me show you the insight. So our organization lives inside the Arizona State University, SkySong Innovation Center, and Scottsdale, Arizona. It gives us an opportunity, be around a lot of creative people and creativity. Well, sometimes it turns into trouble, but most of the time it's gonna turn into quality content for you. I just want to take this moment to tell you, we're pleased to have you, you here. We look forward to helping you. If there's anything at all that you need, please reach out, follow us on the other socials that you like best in the platform that's your favorite. And until you and I get an opportunity to talk one-on-one, behold and be held, Speaker 2 00:27:09 Gifting, selling, donating, sometimes trashing, I mean the, these, eventually, uh, the in-state with our things that we've collected throughout life are gonna find one of these dispositions. Today we're talking with David McMahon affair split.com, who helps families work through whether they're downsizing, they're settling on the state, maybe it's, uh, late in life where you're dealing with a divorce issue, how to do some of those things, and keeping into mind those emotional constructs, all the, the issues that kind of come into play to take some of that down and just get to the stuff and, and be able to help a, a family move forward making those processes. Again. Dave, thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you. Uh, so in, um, w while we were going over in general, we were talking through the, the importance of, of, of understanding timing in a system, uh, or, or where you are, um, understanding where everybody's at, particularly if griefs gonna play a role. Speaker 2 00:28:06 Maybe in that process, you used a term of wearing the air hat, h e i r, when you're tackling a situation like this and, and thinking, <laugh>, I love it, <laugh>. I love it. That's great. <laugh>. Ah, so in coming in with that, understanding that, um, you have something that has to get done might be easier to do, not in person, uh, and utilizing whether, whether it's fairport.com or a process that's, that's similar to working your way through this, the idea is you have to make space. You have to kind of acknowledge that everybody's gonna be in a different area, um, of, of grief. And, and that's gonna play a role, uh, as you work your way through your project. Um, I loved, we talked about the importance of, of equity, um, the value of things. Is it, is it worth it when you're going and when you put on that air hat, is, is that thing, is that $500, $700 loveseat, is that worth, uh, you know, another 20 year difficulty or break or fracture between a couple of siblings in here? And this is, this is probably gonna be a time while you're not good at it, you're, this is a time for you to think through it and surround yourself with experts that can help you be better at it. Um, at, at, at finding that, Speaker 3 00:29:25 You know, I was thinking when you mentioned the, this sofa, it brought to mind another thing. And I, when I, when I saw your, your little video, uh, that you shared of, of your, uh, your company, and I saw clarity as one of the things that your first thing, and I was re reminded me of. Uh, I was, uh, had a family office attorney, uh, family office, help manage high net worth families. And it came to my booth at the show. He kept coming back and, and he goes, I want you to remember two words that I love about what you're doing here, that I've always had trouble making happen. He goes, if you wanna minimize conflict in a family in this process, clarity and transparency. And he goes, clarity, meaning how are we gonna do it? What are the rules? Does everybody under understand them? Speaker 3 00:30:12 But transparency is usually one of the hardest parts because unless everyone can be at the house and somehow you can see everything at once, there's no way to provide the transparency that's usually wanted. And as you know, pl you can use it completely for free. You can upload the photos and list everything in the house. It doesn't cost anything. Just create a private family account. And that provides the transparency. But the clarity, uh, is one of the things, when you mentioned the sofa, I said, okay, so how are you gonna deal? I'll be talking to the administrator or the, um, executor. So who, how are you dealing with if, uh, if Tony chooses this in Arizona, in the estates in California, who pays for shipping and handling of that loveseat to get it to Tony? Oh, well I guess he does. Well, does he know that? Cause maybe he wouldn't choose it if he thought he had to pay for it. Cuz it's gonna cost more to ship it than it's worth. Speaker 2 00:31:04 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:31:04 So those are kinda questions that need to be addressed upfront. Uh, another big one, Tony, is um, uh, oh, well, we've already thought about, we watched your videos and we've already thought about, we're excited about, we're gonna go first and then we're gonna do the grandkids afterwards. Speaker 2 00:31:22 Great one. Yes. That make sense? Speaker 3 00:31:23 Yeah. I Speaker 2 00:31:24 Mean, spouses and grandkids. Yeah. Like, and different families wanna inject them at different places. They'll have one sibling. Yeah. They want 'em right away because they would consider any decision they make to be a part of all of that. You've got others that it's an afterthought once they've seen a sibling, like a niece or a nephew jump in and like, oh, yep, my, Speaker 3 00:31:42 And, and, and it actually makes sense and what, but, uh, and it makes sense that people would think, oh, that's a reasonable way to do it after everyone's chosen everything. We'll let the nephews, nieces and everybody come in. Uh, and I, I really stopped that as quickly as possible and say, here's the thing, we're gonna invite all your grandkids. They can log in, they can look at everything, they can print the reports, but they should then give the choices they like to their parent who can choose on their behalf as part of their choices. And they'll go, but why? And I'll go, well, there are four of you. Unless all of you are truly gonna pinky swear that Aunt Sarah isn't gonna choose that because she knows her daughter Sue would love it then, you know, she didn't choose it cuz she wanted, you know, she chose it for her daughter Sue, and therefore you're mad at her now because she's breaking the rules. So you, you wanna try to create as, uh, guardrails, I would would say guard rails on the system. So, so people are still, I always joke that, um, one of my goals in this is that you're all still speaking at the end of the process. If you ever were <laugh>, you know, Speaker 2 00:32:52 Well may maybe it gives an opportunity. I, in in life, I've always found great benefits when things are toughest. And, you know, whether it's a, it's a meeting that where the elephant in the room comes out and everybody deals with it and it's in a big dust up, people tend to remember that it can build relationships. Those dealing with hard things can be forging right. In the military, it can be forging to go fight in the work and go through these really hard times together. It can be something that brings everybody together so long as everybody has that transparency and that clarity as to what their goal is. Right? And my goal is mom and dad spent a lifetime acquiring a group of things that don't all fit into our lives. <laugh>. Right? Right. Uh, we just gotta figure out what that's role is for the next, or to get that thing to, to the next person, right. That can, uh, that can find value in it and make it. So that's fantastic. Hey, David, uh, what, what are the types of questions that a family, when they're just organizing themself about that, what are the types of things, what are the first types of things that they should be thinking about? Uh, or, or asking each other, uh, when they're, when they're kicking off, uh, when they know they're gonna have to split up a a on a stay like this? Speaker 3 00:34:01 You know, I, I would say that they should, uh, again, if they can somehow, immediately put on the air hat as a, as a way to stay true to older siblings as, as a way to try to, uh, imagine what the other siblings may be thinking, then it's gonna be harder to make bad decisions. And I'll, I'll give you some examples. Uh, a lot of times the oldest brother's gonna be the executor, and a lot of times he cares the least about all the sentimentality of the things that other people care about. So they might go into the house and go, you know what? I just had a crew come in, we put a dumpster in the front yard, we got rid of all the stuff nobody's gonna want. And I go, oh, well how did you know they weren't gonna want it? Right? And, and like, they'll give, you know, they'll get, well, we donated all dad's clothes to Goodwill because nobody's gonna wear those. Speaker 3 00:34:48 I go, did you donate all of his silk ties? Oh, well, yeah. Why? Well, the grandkids think those are cool as anything. And to have one of grandpa's silk ties, did you donate his hats? Because those are cool. What about his bomber jacket? You know, those are things that, um, if they'll just pause and realize how easy it is in today's world to just take lots of pictures and then share those with the family through our system. Um, that's first step. Secondly, do never, ever just decide, I can't deal with this now I'm gonna put it all in storage. That's like the worst because Agreed. Yeah. Oh my goodness, what a waste of money. But also a lot of times it'll go into boxes, not properly inventoried, not photographed before it goes in. So now you're gonna have to not only pay for the storage pay to have it moved there, then pay to have it all opened up and and redone it. It's, they won't, it's Speaker 2 00:35:40 It's awful. Yeah. They, they won't, it, it will be, i i 99, actually, I don't think I've ever seen a time where it didn't end poorly, where that just hit after a while, they ended up selling an entire locker of whatever's in there is how it goes. Or it became an over, it becomes an overwhelming problem when it all gets consolidated, packed away and shoved into Speaker 3 00:35:59 Something. It it does. And, and I actually, it was one of the things that we put that, that another thing that made me start this company as a close friend of mine of Five Brothers, his dad was a surgeon. They had a big 10,000 square foot home. All five brothers could not deal with it. So they put it into two 20 foot storage buildings. And I, this was eight years later when I started my company that they said, no, we never dealt with it. It hangs over all of us all the time. Every year we talk about it and it never happens. So I thought, let me just make a system that's so efficient that no one would ever imagine doing that if they knew there was another way. And so, uh, yeah, that would be the other thing. Um, I'd say half the families we deal with, uh, aren't really caught up in the values at all. Speaker 3 00:36:47 Uh, they're just glad someone in the family's gonna get it. And even if we are asked to put values on things, Tony, if, if there's four kids, 25% each, I tell people, look, as long as everybody falls between 20 and 30, it's all estimated values. Anyhow. I I I wouldn't bother trying to get it all matched up evenly after that. Yeah, yeah. Um, again, just trying to help the family lower the temperature on what things are. Oh, and then the other one that comes up is, uh, well, we all are aware that, you know, uh, my sister Sue, she's gonna take everything. She's gonna take everything none of us wants, so she's gonna get the majority of it. And I go, oh, thank goodness for her. And go, what? And I'll go, if she takes everything, then you don't have to deal with it, you know, as the executor or, you know, if she'll take everything and put it wherever she's gonna put it, that's one less thing or a hundred less things you have to deal with. And, um, yeah, so those are the things that come to mind. Speaker 2 00:37:45 I think they're, uh, great places to start. Uh, David, uh, super challenging part of many people's parent projects. Um, I, I agree. It would be awesome if people would start looking at this maybe ahead of time. Uh, maybe ask those clarifying questions. Uh, you know, working on assumptions is usually a very difficult and costly, uh, challenge when you're doing a parent project. So if you don't have to make an assumption of what mom and dad wanted or what somebody else wants, and instead it can be out there where everybody can comment off. If it's up, it's down, it's, it's transparent, it's open, it's visible. Uh, I think, I think it could really help a lot of families. And I appreciate you taking the time to come out today. I appreciate what you do every day, uh, with fair split.com and on and your other works as well. Um, talk to us about where people can, uh, get it more information, where they can find you guys. Speaker 3 00:38:36 You know, definitely go to fair split.com and I highly recommend spending a little time on the resources page at the top. Um, I, I've done a series of YouTube videos and provided some documents. Um, we were speaking about before we started here, that letter of instruction, if you could persuade your parents to review the letter of instruction, maybe added to their, uh, it doesn't even have to be added as a, a formal part of the will or trust. All they'd have to do is kind of reference that there is a letter of instruction add and we, we provided the copy for that to, that you could edit and change, make it yours. But that will give the clarity that's usually not provided. Um, right. The other thing I would recommend, uh, this has come up a lot recently is, uh, you get named Executor. You weren't expecting it, you didn't want it, or the trustee. Speaker 3 00:39:25 And there's some feeling that, well, mom named me that, so I have to do all this. No, it doesn't say you've been named Executor and therefore you have to spend all your time and learn how to do it and do all this. Typically, the state will pay for, uh, other people to help you that do this all the time. Um, uh, get rid of the guilt that makes you think you need to do it yourself. And consider, you know, reaching out to professionals that do this every day. It'll be more efficient. It'll take the load off of you. It'll probably have it be much more peaceful between you and your siblings because they won't feel like you're running the whole thing and calling all the shots. So Speaker 2 00:40:08 I love that approach. I love that approach. I think, um, left in a great place for, for the whole spectrum of working through the project. Absolutely. There's a lot of people here that can help and, uh, definitely. And I appreciate what you've done for us, and thank you again, David, for sharing your time, talents, and treasures Speaker 3 00:40:24 With us. Thanks for the chance to share, Tony. Good seeing you again. Speaker 2 00:40:31 Well, that's it for the team this week, and thanks for joining us. If you've enjoyed the content, remembered, subscribe, and to share this episode on the app that you're using right now. Your reviews and your comments, they really help us expand our reach as well as our perspective. So if you have time, also drop us a note. Let us know how we're doing for tips and tools to clarify your parent project, simplify communication with your stakeholders and verify the professionals that you choose. You can find us on YouTube, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for trusting us. Until our next episode, behold and be held. Speaker 1 00:41:04 Thank you for listening to this Parent Projects podcast production. To access our show notes, resources or forums, join us on your favorite social media platform or go to parent projects.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decisions, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by Family Media and Technology Group Incorporated and Parent Projects llc. Written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcast.

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