FairSplit User Guide

Learn how to use FairSplit to upload photos, list, share and divide assets with our User Guide.

Download Our Free User Guide
Updated August 2019


Frequently Asked Questions

FREE Shareable Inventory Questions

Is it really free?

Yes! You may make as many free accounts as you like, all managed through a single login. Use FairSplit for your business as a job management and sharing tool, or as a family to create a centralized place to list, organize and share information about the contents of a home.

How do you do this for free?

It is our pleasure to offer this free so families and the professionals who help them become more familiar with the custom tools we have created and use them to make the process easier and less painful. Our goal is to help in estate, downsizing and divorce situations especially. Some will be able to use these tools for inclusion and transparency for all parties, and that may be enough. However, some will benefit by upgrading to our full division packages, and we do charge for those.  We also provide additional services such as listing the assets from photos, serving as Administrator in family estates, or divorces and additional mediating help when asked to do so.

How do I upgrade from Free Inventory to a Paid Division?

To upgrade from a Free Inventory to a paid division service click on the Upgrade Banner at the foot of your Inventory Account and follow the instructions.

For Payment for Specific Add-On Services like Administrator, Mediation time, etc. proceed to: https://www.fairsplit.com/added-services/

FREE, Lower Cost Options for Divorce or Estate Divisions


Do it yourself.

Doing the photo listing and valuing one’s self saves considerably over our beginning to end services.

What are the FREE and Reduced Rate Options?

Our primary goal with FairSplit is to reduce emotional stress and conflict in divisions and preserve civility and respect between the parties. If you can’t afford the fee, but have a need for the service, we want to hear from you. Email us for a free or reduced code due to true need.

What are the FREE 2 party division spreadsheets?

Familiar, or willing to work with an Excel spreadsheet, we have built a nice spreadsheet that can be edited and used between two parties collaborating to divide items such as in divorce, two heirs or even dividing a business. If you can make this work for you without the online process, then we are happy to provide this at no charge. (see sample)

Asset List Creation:

What should be included on the list?

Any items not specifically assigned in a will or agreed by all parties not to include. For example, if ALL heirs have informed the executor ahead of time they have no interest in linens, cookware, or maybe big furniture items, one might list the items in bulk, but assign them a “To be sold or donated” status, so it doesn’t complicate the division. Another example: If everyone agrees Dad’s rocker should go to Sue ahead of time, it should still be listed with its MV (Market Value) and assigned to Sue before dividing starts, so it counts toward her share. It is usually a good practice to have ALL items listed so everything is clear to ALL involved parties, even if they are to be donated or sold.

What are tips for good ways to photograph an estate?

  1. Light coming from behind you or from above is better than photographing facing sunlit windows. Try to have the light behind you, and light on specific items being photographed
  2. The photos do not have to be high resolution for good viewing on the website. We reduce the size when you upload, but they will upload faster if taken at medium resolution settings.
  3. A good method is to go room to room photographing. Group furniture, jewelry, collectibles, so that each item can be shown clearly within a group.
  4. If a valuable item or piece of art, take one or more photos of that item. For groups of collectibles, jewelry or books, group shots are usually fine. We suggest putting numbers next to each piece of jewelry shot in a group so it can be identified in the description.
  5. Think about how one would want to see the items online while taking the photos. For example a matching pair of wing back chairs could be taken in a single photo, or a dining table and chairs that go together, etc.

What else should I photograph?

Often in divorces, all items are well known by description, so may not require many photos per room to still be able to adequately list the items to be divided. If a family is very familiar with the items of an estate, detailed photos of art or antiques may not be as necessary, but if anyone would have trouble being certain which items were which, individual photos may be needed. For example, if there are three landscape oil paintings, be sure it is possible to clearly indicate which is being listed from which photo. All items listed can have photos, scans or files of appraisals, receipts and descriptions edited for that item later as needed.

How does listing assets work?

We offer drop down menus of typical rooms and contents to pre-populate many of the items rapidly to be edited later. Then from that list, one can edit and add to the list to match your actual content referring to the photos of each room. Listing items, descriptions and the level of detail needed is a matter of personal preference and situational needs.

Does each item need to be separately listed or are groupings OK?

Many items are typically grouped and valued together, such as: matching sofa, loveseat and chairs, dining table and chairs with buffet, bedroom set (including dresser, chest, nightstands and headboards), matching necklace and earrings. As the Administrator creating the list, imagine if you desired the item / items and try to group the way most people would prefer to own. When in doubt, list items separately.

What about items removed immediately after a death?

Sometimes for security, valuable items are removed from an estate for safekeeping. In other cases heirs or others may hastily remove things they believe they are entitled to. All of these items should be returned, or properly listed and accounted for by the executor. NOTHING should be removed from an estate without all potentially entitled parties having awareness of those items and included as provided for in a will or by law. This can often be the single largest source of conflict, and reasonably so if not dealt with upfront and openly.

About FairSplit

How does it work?

See how the free listing tools work for your family or your company serving families as appraisers, movers, or as the family executor. Then how a family can upgrade to our division tools to help figure out who gets what, and what can be sold or donated fairly.

Click here to go to How it works video.

Why is this service better than using photo sharing sites, or document sharing services from much larger companies?

FairSplit was specifically designed for the tasks associated with a move, estate division, downsizing or divorce where people need to decide who gets what, what can be sold, donated, etc. You could use a combination of the well-known sharing services, but it would be cobbled together and not so easily shared or restricted by user access, with limited permissions. You can co-brand this with your logo and company information.

Is the service legally binding?

The service can be used to create a legally binding distribution or division, but is not a legally binding service on its own. One would use the results as part of a broader legal execution of a division according to your specific state laws, provisions of a legal will, and often with the help of a professional. Each party should agree to abide by the results of the process before beginning, otherwise it can’t as effectively serve as the impartial solution needed for a division.

What are the security measures adopted by FairSplit?

(Please note that some of the measures below only work against hackers in proportion to the strength of your password, so create good ones. Do not use a password that is a dictionary word, and include numbers or characters in addition to letters; this helps defend against a brute force attack.)

We do not store your password — only a hash of it. This means no one can recover your password from our database. If you forget your password, you must go through the password recovery procedure, which involves a message to your email address as a way to verify your identity.

No one can see your estate or asset data, except the people who have been added to the inventory or division. No data within it is public.

The web application uses the HTTPS protocol which involves an encrypted connection, such that the hardware through which your information passes on the Internet cannot decode the content. This prevents man-in-the-middle hacking attacks. – We keep all the software in our Linux servers up-to-date in order to avoid old, known security vulnerabilities.

We host our web application with Amazon and use its advanced network security features to ensure other Amazon clients cannot access our data.

We make a daily backup of our database, so that in the unlikely event of a catastrophic bug or failure, we can recover the data to the latest backup. We expect that, in such an event, the largest amount of work you could lose is 24 hours.

Our software is written in such a way as to protect against SQL injection attacks and cross-site request forgery attacks. Our team knows that discipline is a very important trait in a programmer and our software is written in a careful, orderly, informed and deliberate manner.

We also encourage you to use a reasonably recent version of a respected browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. We believe there is still reason to avoid Microsoft Edge because it is a re-branding of (and shares an enormous amount of code with) Microsoft Explorer, which has a poor security history.

Do the inventory apps or programs from other companies work?

If you already have an inventory taken through another company’s software or app, like KnowYourStuff, HomeZada or other insurance type inventory programs, most will have an “Export Inventory” function. Export in Excel or CSV files and then follow the instructions in “Upload Spreadsheet” on FairSplit.com, Properties and Assets area.  If you have associated photos or files with assets, you will want to put the photo number in the Files column.  After uploading the spreadsheet, upload all files afterwards and they will automatically associate with the asset listed with that file.

If the export from an app is only offered as a PDF, use the following instruction to convert it to excel and then follow the steps provided on the “Upload Spreadsheet”.

How to convert a PDF file to Excel:

  1. Open a file in Acrobat.
  2. Click on the Export PDF tool in the right pane.
  3. Choose spreadsheet as your export format, and then select Microsoft Excel Workbook.
  4. Click Export. …
  5. Name the Excel file and save it in a desired location.

Convert PDF to Excel, PDF to XLSX converter | Adobe Acrobat DC

Who pays for the Division Service?

Typically the costs are covered from estate funds. If an Executor has chosen FairSplit as an aid to assist their efforts, they would typically be reimbursed. If booked through a service provider, they may separate the fee or have it included in with their overall fees.

Using FairSplit

Glossary of Terms and Roles in FairSplit Asset Divisions



A property is a realty such as a house or condo. Each property contains rooms and assets.


A room belongs to a property and may contain assets and files, including photos.


Assets may (optionally) belong to a property, to a room and to a category. An individual asset may also have photos and other files associated with it. But this is all optional: an asset may also be simply a name.  Assets are sometimes referred to as items.


Images and other files (any type of file) may be uploaded, but each image must be associated either with an asset or (more commonly) with a room. To upload, navigate first to the asset or room.

MV (Monetary Value)

Each asset may have a Monetary Value ― its likely price if sold today.

EV (Emotional Value)

One of the available division rounds lets divisees assign “or bid” Emotional Value numbers to assets, indicating their level of interest in the items, independently of their cost.  Assets are awarded based on who awarded the most points.



The administrator manages the division process.  He or she can invite other people into the division, set their roles, set up division rounds and has editing permissions.  They cannot change round results, but may  make changes to asset distribution.  This may be to help bring divisees closer to their allocation percentage or at the request of two parties agreeing to an exchange. This should never be done without full disclosure to all participants. Sometimes an Administrator is also a Divisee.  It is highly recommended that this only be the case when all divisees agree they are comfortable with this.  Often trusted third parties are asked to serve as Administrator to avoid potential or perceived advantages of the dual roles.


A “divisee” in the FairSplit application is a beneficiary of the division. He or she is entitled to a percentage of all the assets, called “allocation percentage”. Those percentages are for reference only and do not block selections or make a difference in round results.  In each division round divisees select and are awarded assets based on blind, impartial round rules.

Asset lister

An asset lister can only see and edit the inventory. He or she can add photos and assets and create relationships between these.  Sometimes this may be an independent third party paid to help, or a sibling helping the administrator for the sake of time.


A valuator, whether he is a professional appraiser, an independent third party or a family member, can set estimated prices of assets.  Some families opt to have actual appraisals on all assets, or assets above a certain estimated value.


An observer cannot change anything but can see the inventory, division rounds and their outcomes. Sometimes the role of attorneys or mediators.


Can edit and invite participants, including administrators.  The Sponsor is the person who paid for the service originally.


Rounds are different methods for dividing assets among parties. A round includes all, or a subset of the assets. An administrator sets up a round, divisees bid on it, and in the end items are distributed. In an added feature, if all divisees confirm to the administrator they completed their round, the administrator may close the round earlier, speeding up the process.

Active rounds

Active rounds are those that divisees must interact with right now, that have been initiated and have an end time. If all divisees finish early and notify the Administrator, the round may be ended earlier.

Pending rounds

Administrators can edit pending rounds until they go active.

Closed rounds

When an active round is closed, divisees can no longer bid within it. After a few minutes the system awards the assets in them according to the bids. Administrators may adjust the awards or extend a round prior to the scheduled ending if a problem prevented a divisee from finishing.

Putting Market Values on Assets (not required)

What is MV (Monetary, or Market Value)?

The approximate real world value of an item if sold through an estate sale or auction, Craig’s List, yard sale, etc. The division process will result in each party receiving their share of the MV, or paying or receiving offsetting cash to balance differences. This value can be an educated guess, is sometimes just ignored by families if not significant, a third party estimate or ideally (if items of any significant value) an appraiser.  A value of $1 or greater needs to be used for awarded assets to appear on the Overview page. Note: Actual cash value to an estate is significantly less due to estate sales company, consignment or auction fees. We usually recommended discounting market values to .50 to determine fair cash values between family members if reconciling to balance.  Also, things are most often worth much, much less than people think.  Examples of this can be particularly shocking for antiques, high quality dark furniture, silver, china, art and collectibles.

What is EV (Emotional Value) exactly?

For some participants, items on the list to be divided hold emotional ties, or value; Dad’s old guitar, Mom’s silver brush, a watercolor from a class taken together. Some items, all may know and agree get pre-assigned to one party or another but others need a way to fairly assign. Our EV Bidding round makes it possible for all to have an equally fair chance at selecting those items through Emotional Bidding of their Emotional Values on items.

What if someone or several participants do not agree with the Market Value’s assigned to items?

For all to feel good about the division, all parties need to agree that the items listed and values are fair. Professional appraisals may be the only answer in some cases.  The initial round helps confirm not only the values, but saves time if no Divisee is interested in owning the asset. Agreeing on a value isn’t always possible with an initial listing proposed. An Administrator may choose to adjust a few values based on feedback, get an appraisal, show links to similar items on Craig’s List or eBay in support. One may also remove items where values are in dispute to be separately divided in a later round through a bidding process among the participants to establish a true “market value” for the participants. This allows the other items to be divided in faster ways, thereby not holding up the process.

Who pays for packing and shipping?

Administrators will typically set values for the items only. Each party who selects and is awarded an item is usually responsible for their own costs related to packing and shipping or collecting the assets from the estate location. Items not selected, which may then be sold or donated with any net proceeds divided, would also typically have costs for commission or packing and shipping, deducted from total proceeds before dividing the resulting cash among the parties.

Tips on Photo Upload to Associate with Assets

Photos, or appraisals or other documents may be uploaded to FairSplit to have as reference or to assign or associate with specific assets. Here are some tips for preparing and uploading photos:

Some people like to take a photo of each item to be listed.  This can make it very easy to list assets once the photos are uploaded to FairSplit since one may then edit the photo name to a good name of what is in the photo, add a comment at the bottom for more details, then use our “Photos to Assets” converter and it will make each photo an asset, in the room you uploaded to, and with the details you put at the bottom.  The beauty of doing it this way is you are typing the asset name literally onto the photo while you are looking at it.  All that is left to do is add categories and estimated fair market values if you need to.

More than one photo may be associated with any asset (different angles, close ups of damage or brand, etc.)
You will find it easiest to upload photos AFTER you have created the Property and Room names to match your estate, then upload the photos for that room, then the next room, etc. This saves the trouble of having to highlight and move them to the right room later.
More than one asset may be associated with a single photo. For example, a single photo of 5 sets of earrings can be easily associated with all five single listings of each earring. Or a photo with a table, with a lamp on it and a figurine can be used for all three items.

How do I enter assets for an estate?

See FairSplit video on adding assets.

Usually, taking photos room by room and uploading to each room is best. Make the last photo of the room a sheet of notes, that may include rug or TV dimensions, artist name, etc., and it will be easier to segment in your photos to upload later. Create matching rooms in your division property and upload the photos into their perspective rooms. You may use the List Asset With Photo by editing the photo name.  This is a fast way to list all assets when a single photo is taken of each item.  You may also type asset names into the Properties and Assets grid while looking at the photos just above the entry name fields. If you need to see a photo in more detail, just click on it to enlarge. This goes fastest if you go through each room doing one category (furniture, art, etc.) then do the next, next until done. The User Guide has detailed instruction, tips and screen shots of best ways to enter assets and associate with photos.

Afterwards (where needed), assign photos to assets so Divisees will easily know which you were using. Please note that in estates and divorces, often the divisees are familiar with the items so it isn’t always necessary to actually associate a photo or photos with each and every item. Just having them available to view in rooms is often enough. Enter a good Asset Name since that is what users will see on their lists. They see the details only when clicking on the item. Ex.: Mahogany square center table with beveled glass is better than cocktail table.

Tip: If you have other family members willing to help, make give them Lister and Valuator Roles and let them do a few rooms! (You can remove those roles afterwards)

If you already have a list in Excel or CSV files from another inventory application, view the instructions in the “Upload Spreadsheets” to save duplicated work. Your full list will be populated. You will then want to associate photos or appraisals to those items

This says it is a two year license. Are there charges after two years?

The Administrator will get an email in advance that the inventory may be deleted, or may be continued for a nominal fee. Making new inventories is free. We put two years since most finish the move or estate clearing well before two years, save or print reports that summarize the resulting inventory, etc. We reserve the right to delete at two years to avoid the costs of storing unwanted photos and inventories indefinitely.

What if I am listing boxes or storage units, not rooms?

We recommend using the Rooms feature to express box numbers, storage unit back, storage unit front etc. And we do NOT recommend using categories for that purpose. We recommend box numbers with zeros on the left, such as “Box 001”, in order for these to sort correctly in reports.

Is it possible to create and divide items in an estate using FairSplit without professional help?

Yes, absolutely. However professionals who deal with estates and divisions as part of their profession will have the experience to make it go more smoothly, and provide personal insight and suggestions beyond those we are able to create in a software solution.

Do I need a photo associated with each asset?

Taking a photo of each asset can make listing assets faster and easier, but it is not even necessary to have any photos if your divisees don’t need them to know what is described by the item name. Often the photos are more so the lister can be sure they list all assets in a room and others can check to refresh their memory.

Start with camera phone, or camera, legal pad, tape measure and pen. Go room by room, take notes by room, and photo the page for that room last. Take photos of all things in each room, as you would want to receive them if chosen; pair of matching chairs, dining table AND chairs, etc.. It doesn’t have to be of each item, though that is the easiest and fastest way to list – straight onto the photo after uploaded into a room.

Photos can be helpful to have a photo associated when differentiating jewelry, collectibles, many oil paintings, etc. or when heirs may not have seen the items for a long time. (See tips of photographing items video) Otherwise, taking the time to associate a photo with each item can be more than is needed, when people already have a good understanding by the item name and which room it is in.  Making the item name very descriptive and clear is important.

Can things other than household items, art, etc., be divided?

Definitely! Be creative. Anything that can be quantified and needs to be fairly allocated works. For example, “vacation week dates” at a family beach house can be entered as items. Vacation dates and holidays in a divorced family can be listed, etc. If cash, consider putting it into smaller blocks so they could be chosen as opposed to “things”, so for example, $10,000 can be entered in four $2,500 blocks.

Do we store inventory data forever?

No. At five years, or if after two years the account hasn’t been access for over a year, we reserve the right to send an email requesting confirmation if the account should remain open.  If there is no reply, another email will go out to the Administrator notify pending deletion before purging the data.

For more information on how to use our application, see these additional FAQs focusing on how to use the free inventory or upgraded divisions.

FairSplit Survey of Estate Division Concerns

What is the purpose of the 5 questions?

We want to determine an understanding of the concerns and goals of each Divisee. Our software is set up to provide tools best suited to keeping all parties confident in the system and that their wishes are being honored and valued equally with those of the Administrator and other participants.

What types of changes are affected by my answers?

As one example, if every participant is interested in a rapid division, and has no EV (Emotional Values) attached to items, we provide the fastest method in the fewest rounds. Obviously if there is emotional value for ANY of the parties for items, there is an Emotional Value division to ensure that is addressed.

Why is there an “I agree to abide by the results” statement?

The idea of the questions are to allow the Administrator to understand the concerns and preferences of Divisees and for Divisees to understand and verify their willingness to consciously commit to a fair and equitable division the FairSplit’s process provides, otherwise it isn’t going to work.


So, In Summary:

If using as a family, now you don’t have to do it all alone. Get family living far away to help you list the things in the house by simply inviting them to assist online. All parties being able to see everything, creates inclusion and transparency.

Create your own customized online account to manage a move, from quoting a job from photos organized by room, to having someone else help list the items seen in the photos. Insert your own logo, slogan, contact information to customize. As a decorator, compare before and after rooms, or if moving, use current room and destination room to have lists of what goes where.

If you need additional help with a way to divide things peacefully, upgrade to the FairSplit patented division package right for you and your family.


Have More Questions?

If you don’t find what your looking for in our FAQs section, contact our support team.