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Dealing with the siblings after the parents' death


Replies to: Dealing with the siblings after the parents' death

  • deb922deb922 Registered User Posts: 5,691 Senior Member
    My S (long story) had a temporary assignment with his job and moved his things into a storage unit. It sat there for 3 or 4 years, can't remember which. Anyways, he flew down there had a couple of boxes to ship and like someone else said, the storage company arranged for the rest to be donated.

    My mil works for company that does estate sales. I know how her stuff is going to go! And like others have said, the collectible market is way down.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 57,360 Senior Member
    So sorry you are going through this, @montegut. I agree with all the suggestions to send a registered letter to both siblings, tell them you plan to dispose of all the items on/by a specific date, and that if they would like any of the items, they must come to get them at their expense. If you are willing to send photos for this party, tell the person requesting the photos that you will do this one task for them but they must arrange for shipping and send you a prepaid shipping label in advance of your going to the storage unit by XYZ date. You can tell them you will send the photo albums and they can select the photos they want. Period. You are not their personal servant. And when you donate the furnishings, keep the receipts for yourself. You have paid for the storage- you deserve the credit on your taxes for the donations.

    I have been in a situation recently where someone has continued to ask favors and take advantage of me/my time. I gave them free information/assistance for a while, but the minute I finally told them that for any continued requests (which they made) I would need to charge for my time, the requests stopped. At least for now.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,712 Senior Member
    Much of this depends on your family dynamics. I wouldn't send a registered letter because that would cause offense but if you thought someone would jump up and down about "not being notified" then maybe so. Sigh...
  • TatinGTatinG Registered User Posts: 6,399 Senior Member
    You never know what's in those old boxes of 'trash' that some elderly relative has been hoarding for years. I saw a show last night on Fox Business called "Strange Inheritances". A niece and nephew inherited thousands of boxes of 'junk' from an aunt. It took them two years just to go through it all. But they found historic letters from Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison, valuable books and other items. Long story short, it was auctioned for $600,000.

    Sadly this won't be the case for the 'collectibles' most of us inherit.
  • MarilynMarilyn Registered User Posts: 3,661 Senior Member
    Gosh darn my parents who put their money into mutual funds instead of collectibles ;) . That did make it easier when my brother and I had to go through our Mom's condo last year. We did discover a pair of lamps that the family had forever were actually signed by the designer and possibly worth several hundred dollars. Brother and I had agreed long ago that he could have them before we knew the history and it wasn't an issue for me. Other than that there were no surprises.

    We were able to divide up the family "heirlooms" relatively politely. We used a service to help clear out and donate the furniture and household items that we didn't want and got a little money from some of it, but mostly it got donated. Then we split the donated value 50/50 for our taxes.

    I stayed in the condo for several days and went through all the papers, setting aside anything pertinent and boxing the rest for shredding. Brother and I split the family stuff. There were a lot of papers and photos neither of us really wanted but he wasn't ready to just toss so he took several boxes; ditto on some objects. He's interested in family history; I was more interested in sentimental items. So I have everything I want, or at least copies if not originals, and he can do what he likes with the rest after he retires and has time to look through it all in more detail. I kind of pushed him to go through everything while I was in town because I knew it would be much more difficult to do it long distance.

    Now DH, on the other hand, has boxes and boxes of stuff from his parents' house. He brought it all from Connecticut to Illinois, then it moved with us (mostly unopened) on to California last year. I already know our son isn't interested so most of it will eventually get tossed, most likely without anyone ever looking at it again. But he needed to keep it and we have room in the garage, so OK with me. That experience helped me be more "ruthless" when going through Mom's stuff. At most I have a couple of boxes of my family's stuff.
  • MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,124 Senior Member
    Slight update. It was my birthday, and my brother's birthday, last week. His wife decided to do a video montage as a surprise. He was turning 50. Once again, the "where are the boys' baby pictures" question came up. I simply responded, "I don't have them." Wife's response, "Where do you think they are?" Gee, maybe they're in those storage units nobody has bothered to come clear out!
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