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Thread: Clearing Out Parent's Home

  1. #21
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    OP, it sounds as though you have defined practical boundaries that are quite reasonable.Good for you! It is amazing how many senior citizens grapple with their elderly parents over Stuff. Life is too short, just wait for the oldsters to die and then chuck it all. Although it sounds as though you will have a battle with your sis. Well, if she wants to spend 2 years touchdown ng and fussing ver every object, let her. My guess is that your sib will want the estate settled quickly and sister-who-wants yes no and maybe piles wont be respected.

  2. #22
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    You already figured out the glass and such. Market on all that pretty much dropped out long ago.
    If your dad said you can start on mom's stuff, here is the way I see it.
    Go through your mom's stuff and take what you each want. If there is something that multiple siblings want, then you can deal with that. Anything of your "mom's" you don't want, well technically, it isn't your mom's as she passed away and without a will or something specifically giving you legal authority over it, rule of thumb is it becomes the survivors property.

    Eventually, you will have to do what we expect to do when one of my parents passes away, and bring shovels to move junk to the trash.
    Good luck.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I have spent the last five years of my life working on this. I could write a book. Many, many, many sales. Items in several consignment shops. Dumpsters and multiple trips to metal recyclers. There was a lot in the house and a lot of it had value. It was going to take mucho research to get prices on it. Nobody wanted it but did want the value from it. I had to approach it as a full time job. I'm doing one more sale at the end of the month and then I'm done. I will say as trustee I get paid for my time. I never ever want to do anything like this again. We have learned so much and even though we don't have a fraction of what my folks had we are still clearing out much of our own with this last sale. I won't have our kids face this kind of a burden.

  4. #24
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    Simplemind. You have learned so much from this and don't want your kids to face the burden.

    I would think most would learn this, yet it keeps happening with most. Did it not happen with the parents, parent's? Why did not they learn? Maybe most did yet forgot along the way. My Mom was a planner, she did the what she thought was correct, yet in the end it was a mess on all levels. From junk to medical, to leaving a husband who had never ever seen a bill or written a check, or shopped..... I can not even think of the dumpsters at my father's home when the time comes, the paperwork, the sales. I made a choice in my mind after doing it all with Mom and Dad so far that I will call my brother and say IT'S all yours, Meet me at the Lawyers and I will sign off. I realized the stress and work would not be worth the payout in the end. Brother has nothing and never will at 60 so, two birds with one stone so to say.

    After the events of the the last three years we had the full trust set up for ourselves to make it that much easier on our children. This will not help with the possessions, but maybe if we make it till we are old we will have liquidated.

  5. #25
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    @Simplemind, I cannot imagine doing this for five years even to be paid for it. The expenditure of life energy is not worth the money as you most certainly know. I am willing to walk away from anything that could be potentially valuable and like BikingLady, I am mulling my options on just signing off when Dad passes away. Sounds terrible I know. Won't make me popular but already sister is stressing over how much $$ to fix the house when it comes time to sell (again getting awaaaay ahead of herself and is assuming worst case scenario meaning Dad dies broke) but should that come to pass, frankly I do not have the money to fix when DH is on the brink of retirement and could be retired by the time it all happens. Sis has more money to do this sort of spending whereas we do not. DH lost a well paying job in the Great Recession and when he went back to work, he took a 45% pay cut. He's not going to recover at this point. It's bad enough I am taking the time and energy to clean and then to spend a ton of money? Can't do it. However, now I am the one getting ahead of myself, but it's something I just dread in the future.

    Back to decluttering, DH and I have been decluttering our home for years but it had gone in fits and starts. Until last year. Now I have been absolutely ruthless and have chucked things I never thought I would. Even though we have no children, someone will have to deal with whatever is left and who will really need it? Two nephews will get plenty from my sister and another nephew and niece will be inheriting my SIL's unbelievable hoard. I won't add to their burden and they will have a big one because Momma keeps everything believing it will be valuable. So getting rid of stuff and giving to those who need / enjoy while I am around to do it.

    If anything, I would like to get to be as minimalist as possible when it comes to the stuff.

  6. #26
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    In my parents early 60's they decided to leave their home and move into a apartment because my Dad was very ill. So for 2 years my mom and I emptied out much stuff by having sales or donating. We had fun during that time as I was a SAHM and she was retired. They were not hoarders but had put everything down the basement such as us kids ice skates, snow shoes, etc. They then lived in 2 bedroom apartment and in her mid 80's she disposed of more. So not a big deal when she died. She let us 3 kids pick out pics we wanted and then she went to the dumpster and threw the rest away. That actually was a sad, sad moment for me to watch. On the opposite side I have cleaned out homes that were horrible, etc. I have been getting rid of stuff for years so not such a big job for my kids. My DH is the opposite so his kids will have to deal with his stuff if he dies last. I really feel for you. With all the family dynamics going on it sounds like a mess.

  7. #27
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Cautionary tale about fixing up dad's house in order to sell it, this happened to someone I know:

    Her father lived in a little old house, needed work, he went to a nursing home. He died there. She insisted on"fixing it up" for better sale. Her siblings were not enthusiastic about contributing toward that, they just wanted the stuff out of it and it sold. I shoild mention that she is obsessed with physical objects and she and I have many clashes about Stuff vs Life Energy to deal with the stuff in our little club.

    Anyway, she insisted it be fixed up, several issues came up that caused fixes to be a bigger problem than expected and it took longer time by a year than it should have taken. Anyway, the house sold. But, oops, the feds came after dad's estate to pay for his nursing home bill. There was no profit and in favt she lost money, because she had sunk money into the place for fixng it up.

    Tldr: make sure the estate owes nothing to the feds before planning to fix up a house in an estate.

  8. #28
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    Make sure he owes nothing to the feds, however I think laws recently have made it harder for the feds to actually claim a house from the estate for end of life medical expenses like nursing homes, so it's quite possible the feds have no claim on a house, even if Medicaid did indeed pay for nursing home care.

    Or suffice that is what the estate lawyer I talked to said when I asked if they could come after a house for medical expenses and whether having a trust changes that in any way (the answer was no and no - trusts are mostly for avoiding probate for middle class people). So as always actually talk a lawyer, rumors online are just that, but the lawyer did assure me as much as I could be assured (hey I tend to worry).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  9. #29
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post

    Tldr: make sure the estate owes nothing to the feds before planning to fix up a house in an estate.
    That's exactly how we lost my great-aunt's cottage I always talk about. My great-aunt, who was so together her entire life until she died at age 92, pleaded with my mother to take her to change her will so that the cottage would go to my mother instead of her sister (my mother's mother). My mother was slightly disorganized and didn't like talking about unpleasant things like wills, and then my aunt died and, just exactly as you said, the government wanted recompense for my grandmother's nursing home expenses. So we had to sell the cottage to do that.

    Very good advice, IL!!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #30
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    When people die most of the homes are sold "as is" and I am sure that this is the reason.

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