Consider and identify all of the parties involved. This can be more complicated if there are divorces, remarriages, stepchildren and adopted children.

Give family members time to think. Everyone needs time to consider what is a fair process before they agree on it.

Set a date to start. After the date is set, make it clear to everyone who will be involved.

Discuss how disagreements and disputes will be handled. (If you're deadlocked before the process even starts, try www.yellowpieplate. for tips or consider hiring an appraiser to help.)

Sources: Marlene Stum, Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand