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Extension > Family > Personal Finance > Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?™ > About this Program

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Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?™

About this Program

This project serves as a model for how research can help address critical issues facing today's families, a goal of the land-grant University Extension system. Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ was created in response to the following needs:


Original Project Development Team

team photo

This project was originally developed by a team of researchers and educators from the University of Minnesota Extension.

The lead researcher and author for the project is Marlene S. Stum, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Specialist in the Family Social Science. Marlene's research and teaching through the Minnesota Extension focuses on understanding economic well-being issues facing later life families. She has developed numerous educational resources to help people make more informed decisions about inheritance, financing long term care, and end-of-life issues. Marlene's background includes a Ph.D. in Adult Education and Social Gerontology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.S. in Family Economics from Kansas State University. Her expertise includes more than thirty years of teaching in higher education, primarily in family economics and social gerontology.

The other team members for the original project were Extension educators with financial management expertise and many years of adult education expertise. These team members were located in the network of county Extension throughout Minnesota and included:

Project Development Process


This project is based on the real-life experiences of family members, attorneys, and other professionals who help family members make inheritance decisions.

We began by conducting qualitative research to learn about the decision-making issues confronting families when faced with personal property decisions and inheritance. Our findings suggest six key factors that are important to successful property transfer decisions. These factors provide the guiding framework for the workbook and video. A discussion of this research can be found in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues article by M. Stum, "Families and inheritance decisions: Examining non-titled property transfers" [2000 Summer, 21(2)].

Our research also provides in-depth insight into the meaning of "fairness." These findings helped us develop practical worksheets to help family members sort out the meaning of fair inheritance processes and outcomes. More about our research on fairness can be learned about in M. Stum 1999 article, "I just want to be fair: Interpersonal justice in intergenerational transfers of non-titled property,"[Family Relations, 48(2), 159-166].


This project was not only guided by our research findings, but by the expertise of a Project Advisory Committee. The individuals listed below were involved in clarifying education needs and approaches, identifying relevant research, and reviewing and developing written and video resources. The Project Development Team and Advisory Committee worked together to conduct extensive piloting and materials development before our educational resources were made available nationwide.

The Project Advisory Committee for the original project included:

Additional Information

Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?™ has been nationally recognized in:

Hear What People Are Saying about this program.

To learn about the resources used for the related project materials, see Learn More.

For additional information on Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™, please Contact Us.

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