An Estate Division Method

The estate division method to be developed here works equally well for any number of people. However, this method will be described for the division of an estate among three people, such as The Inheritance Scenario previously presented.

The condition that the estate consists of items that can't be cut up, shared, or sold without losing much of their value is a usual assumption--it is also the hardest case. So each estate item must be given to one of the people.

To demonstrate this method, first suppose that CJ Buck's estate consists of only one item, say the yacht (assessed value $325,000). If you get the yacht, both me and MT get nothing. But we are entitled to a third of the estate. Somehow, you must compensate us. This is easily done by giving each of us some money. Of course, if I get the yacht, then I'll have to pay you and MT.

This leads to two obvious questions:

  1. Who gets the yacht?
  2. How much compensation should be paid?

Try to answer these questions yourself, then read my suggested answers.