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Old 11-27-2016, 05:41 PM
 
14,264 posts, read 24,013,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My siblings & I gave away land worth close to $100,000 (in today's money) to close family friends/neighbors that had helped our late parents for many years. Our dad was working on the gift before he expectantly passed away and we followed through with his wishes.


I think that what you and Robyn did was great.

There are so many people out there who take care of older neighbors and keep an eye on them. This is often the difference that keep neighbors independent in their own home. Quite often, no one really recognizes them for their contribution.

My late uncle was a Catholic priest in a rural parish. When he died a dozen years ago, he left all of his assets to a couple of his parishioners who allowed him to have a room in their cottage year around. My uncle would work weekends up to the end of his life but would return to the cabin where he could read and write. I was very glad to see that he recognized their generosity as his brothers and sisters had sufficient means for their own retirements.
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,178 posts, read 3,017,195 times
Reputation: 13858
Quote:
Originally Posted by leastprime View Post
Hardest thing I have ever done.
I had to do it for our family home, before I sold it and moved. It was a large house, with hundreds of drawers, shelves and cabinets, all stuffed with four generations of junk. The attics were so full, there was no room to walk through them. I sorted through every little piece of paper, one-by-one and it took me several months. I had to dump or burn 90% of it and I still took too much with me to my next house. I will never do that again, no matter what it might cost to have someone else do it.

When I go, a professional estate manager will clear out my place, who I hope will be paid handsomely for the arduous job. But this person will probably curse me for all the mess I left. "I don't believe it, two 40-gallon bags full of peanut-butter jars?!". How many years will I serve in Purgatory, for not having washed and re-cycled them?
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:54 PM
 
Location: New York Area
15,957 posts, read 6,280,004 times
Reputation: 12386
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
I am curious how have people handled cleaning out a home/place after one has died.
I spent some serious time going through my mother and step-father's apartment. I found some gems such as my first Hebrew School report card. It was read in Temple last June when that teacher passed away. I also found some poison-pen letters that I wish I hadn't read. Frankly I had to tell my wife that she was right about my mother being a rather difficult person after reading my mother's remarks about my father (they remained married until my father died).

Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
Especially curious about companies/organizations that will do such when nearest family members are not local as in they are 1,000 miles away.

Hope this question fits in this section.
After me and my step-siblings cleaned out anything we wanted and/or could sell we sold the rest to an antique shop for a small amount, about $15,000, plus their doing the cleanup. Worked out fairly well.
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Old 11-27-2016, 06:11 PM
 
3,455 posts, read 2,335,288 times
Reputation: 7004
My Mom was a packrat. I think she would have been a hoarder in her later years, but she wasn't very mobile and couldn't get out to buy much stuff. She also had my sister taking care of her paperwork, so the paperwork was organized at least.

My 5 siblings and I went through the house and took what we wanted. Fortunately, there were no disputes and frankly, not a lot of stuff any of us wanted! I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay (years of experience as an eBay seller) and split the proceeds with my siblings. I also sold my Mom's jewelry to a local jeweler I knew and trusted. My Mom had a plastic bag of 14K gold jewelry hanging on a doorknob for years! (Her ailing best friend had given it to her years before and she hung the bag on a bedroom doorknob when she came home from seeing her friend, and that was that.) There were a few pieces my sisters and my SIL and nieces wanted, but most of it got sold. Gold was quite high at the time; yay.

We hauled bag after bag after bag of JUNK to the curb for garbage pickup. I think my mother was trying to corner the market on empty plastic margarine containers. Then we had a big yard sale. Anything that was left after the yard sale was given away via Craigslist. We put an ad on CL that said, "Come and get it between the hours of xx and xx on such-and-such a date". There wasn't anything of value in the house by then (so we didn't have to worry about people stealing), and people swarmed in and took rusty old junk and plain old crap that we thought no one would want.

The piano was the hardest thing to get rid of. No one wants an old piano. But someone finally took it for free.

Then we had to clean the place. More fun. I would recommend hiring someone for that, if you can. But since there was 6 of us plus assorted spouses, the work went quickly. My BIL refinished the floors and painted and the house sold quickly.

My personal lesson: Get rid of STUFF. Now. And stop bringing more STUFF in the house. My mother had so much stuff that she never used. A lot of it still had the price tags on it. All stuff we had to deal with, one way or another.
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Old 11-27-2016, 06:56 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,876 posts, read 18,888,113 times
Reputation: 33803
After reading some of these stories I feel lucky. My MIL always told us that we would not have a hard time going through her stuff after she died. She was right. Everything was organized and labeled. There was still a lot of stuff--you have to have furniture and dishes--but she had downsized wisely and everything was neat and tidy.

My own parents had sold their house and had numerous yard sales themselves. They moved on to have two houses but again, they had downsized and neither house was overwhelming.

I just don't know why any retired person would buy MORE stuff and want a BIGGER house. You get to a point when you just don't need all that extra stuff and you don't need more room either. Instead of accumulating more, your life needs to turn into disposing of. Simplify!
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,633 posts, read 17,606,575 times
Reputation: 27701
This is what happened when a long time family friend died. The wife died, then the husband, and all of the kids lived at least five hours away. He was an only child, she was the last living of her generation.

They were slightly older than my grandparents - would probably be 90 now if they were still living, and he died somewhere around 2010. The kids came back here for the funeral, called the church, and the church had first dibs on possessions. The rest of the possessions were given to neighbors and friends - what no one else wanted was placed in a dumpster they had brought over by Waste Management.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,187 posts, read 11,237,060 times
Reputation: 30762
My mom passed eight years ago and dad just passed this summer.

After the funeral, my siblings and me met at his house every other weekend. We went room by room sorting, trashing, categorizing, and then "claiming" with agreement the possessions that we each would like to have.

One of use was the executor and dealt with the financial and legal issues, one became the temporary "guardian" of the house and kept things running while things were being settled, and the third was in charge of gathering all of the clothing in the house and donating it to a worthy non-profit and also gathering all the pictures in the house and preparing them for distribution and sharing by all of the siblings.

Once we had gone through all of the household contents and secured the items of value to us (family jewelry, dog tags & such, personal items, letters, etc.), we then contracted an estate sale company to sell off all of the remaining possessions.

They had a three day estate sale and then after that they sold remaining items to a liquidator. They broom swept the house and left it completely empty.

The house was listed for sale during this process and we closed the sale less than one week after the estate sale. Needless to say, we had motivation to finish up our tasks asap!

We deliberately stayed away from the house during the estate sale as we were told that it is gut-wrenching to see strangers rifling through and bargaining for your family's assets. That was probably good advise!

All in all, we made more money that planned on the estate sale and the house sale closed on time without issue. Now we have to do Dad's final taxes and then have the will settled (mandatory one year wait).

For such a lousy event (losing your parents), the estate settled out pretty easily.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,302 posts, read 4,406,383 times
Reputation: 5698
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
I don't know, the adult step children of my father's second wife stole everything and his rightful heirs were powerless to stop it because there was no will.
Not having a will simply means inheritance is determined in the order dictated by state law (called Intestate Succession Law).

The key here is not really whether there is will or not, it is whether the estate is worth enough for a lawyer to make good money off of. About 10 years ago, in Florida, we were told by several local lawyers that the estate would have to be worth over $125,000 for it to be worth their while (not sure what percentage they would have gotten; at least 10% or $12,500, and probably more). Today I'd bet the estate would have be $150,000 to $180,000 to get a lawyer to take case.
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:08 PM
 
9,688 posts, read 15,881,967 times
Reputation: 16046
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorinj View Post
my mom was a packrat. I think she would have been a hoarder in her later years, but she wasn't very mobile and couldn't get out to buy much stuff. She also had my sister taking care of her paperwork, so the paperwork was organized at least.

My 5 siblings and i went through the house and took what we wanted. Fortunately, there were no disputes and frankly, not a lot of stuff any of us wanted! I sold a bunch of stuff on ebay (years of experience as an ebay seller) and split the proceeds with my siblings. I also sold my mom's jewelry to a local jeweler i knew and trusted. My mom had a plastic bag of 14k gold jewelry hanging on a doorknob for years! (her ailing best friend had given it to her years before and she hung the bag on a bedroom doorknob when she came home from seeing her friend, and that was that.) there were a few pieces my sisters and my sil and nieces wanted, but most of it got sold. Gold was quite high at the time; yay.

We hauled bag after bag after bag of junk to the curb for garbage pickup. I think my mother was trying to corner the market on empty plastic margarine containers. then we had a big yard sale. Anything that was left after the yard sale was given away via craigslist. We put an ad on cl that said, "come and get it between the hours of xx and xx on such-and-such a date". There wasn't anything of value in the house by then (so we didn't have to worry about people stealing), and people swarmed in and took rusty old junk and plain old crap that we thought no one would want.

The piano was the hardest thing to get rid of. No one wants an old piano. But someone finally took it for free.

Then we had to clean the place. More fun. I would recommend hiring someone for that, if you can. But since there was 6 of us plus assorted spouses, the work went quickly. My bil refinished the floors and painted and the house sold quickly.

my personal lesson: Get rid of stuff. Now. And stop bringing more stuff in the house. My mother had so much stuff that she never used. A lot of it still had the price tags on it. All stuff we had to deal with, one way or another.

ita!
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:31 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,644 posts, read 40,010,157 times
Reputation: 23801
  1. TAG it BEFORE demise, and have signed copies of the list.
  2. Be sure to include ALL family (that is possible to work with... )
  3. Consider museums for heritage stuff. (like 'dog powered washing machines' and such)
  4. Consign small amounts of high value to a resale or auction house
  5. Have an auction if LARGE amounts (such as a farm/tools)
  6. Have a pre-defined charity take remaining valuables for their thrift / annual fund raisers
  7. Send the rest to a thrift of intrinsic community value (local shelter / kids club)
  8. Contract the cleaning.
  9. give the home to a charity (if possible)
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