My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Alabama. My brother passed away in May and his wife had died 8 years earlier. Total value of the estate is approximately 4 million with very little cash. Assets are real estate, antiques, jewelry, vehicles and artwork. I am just getting a handle on the assets and debts but can tell that the there will be challenges. His furniture was left to 4 stepchildren. The artwork was left to 2 nieces. The jewelry to his sister, the vehicles to me and the remainder to be split between my sister and I. We are his only siblings, our parents are dead and he had no children of his own.
The 4 stepchildren do not get along with each other or with my sister and I. The furniture and artwork is located in 3 properties. My initial thought was to recommend that the 4 stepchildren take turns selecting what they want and then have an estate sale along with items not specifically covered in a bequest. I'm trying to keep things cordial and thought that this would be the easiest way to dispose of the contents of 3 homes. The return on furniture would then be split between the stepchildren. A similar process would be used for the artwork and the nieces. Anything else sold would be split between my sister and I. My wife suggested that I just give them X number of days to remove the furniture but I feel like that would not be proper. At the time of his death, my brother was not on speaking terms with 2 of them because he had stopped helping them financially (they are all over 55). These two have threatened to take us to court because they feel like they are entitled to everything.
Enough background. What is the best way to deal with the furniture and artwork?