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Old 08-10-2008, 10:31 PM   #21
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I am sorry to hear about your loss.

I think that what you are going through can be pretty normal. It is not limited to the size of the estate, my wife's family squabbled for eight months over their mother's estate which totaled $4400 when it was all over.

Angels danced on the day that you were born.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:54 PM   #22
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Sorry to hear about your loss. Just went through this myself.

I was the executor of my mother estate. I called a family meeting the day after the funeral, with all siblings present (we were all living out of town) and made a point to include all the BIL and SIL's.

We divided up all the furniture, jewelry, photos, etc. that day. What was left after that meeting was offered to relatives, then family friends, but anything remaining the following week was given to charity. We each tagged what we wanted with a piece of tape, and agreed on a one-month timeline to get everything out of the house. As executor, I settled any disagreeements on the spot. No estate sales, we all felt we would rather give what was left to someone who wanted or needed it instead of selling it to strangers. We also decided on an asking price for the house, and they gave me latitude to get it sold-We agreed that if it we didn't get any offers within 25K of our asking price we would sit on it. It sold for full price (58K over appraisal) in six days. We had to scramble to get it cleaned out it time. Actually ended up taking a box of stuff my nephew had claimed to Goodwill- he didn't get it out before the house closed...

I distrubuted her financial assets as quickly as possible- and made a point of emailing everyone copies of every single correspondance, no matter how mundane. Her will specified equal shares and that is what everyone got, right down to the penny.

Six months later, everyone is still talking, no hard feelings anywhere. No one feels like they got the brown end of the stick. Everything was above board.

I actually had to prod two of them to get their paperwork completed for a couple of small life insurance policies. My last email to them I told them I was 100% distributed, and they needed to follow up on their own; I considered my executor role complete except for her 2008 tax return.

I realize that not all of these situations go this smoothly; ours did, partly because my DW jokingly told everyone at the meeting that our mom would haunt anyone who misbehaved for the rest of their life...and we all agreed that staying together as a family was worth more than who got a particular photo, the good china, or a piece of jewelry or furniture.

Good luck with your situation.

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Old 08-12-2008, 05:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Khan View Post
Reading this, I'm glad there is almost nothing to inherit.

Say not that you’ve known a man until you’ve shared an inheritance with him.
-attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Me too , I can't see us fighting over the various walkers or the chair that gives you a boost to stand up .
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
I didn't think much about it either way, but now that I have seen what is involved I wouldn't do it for all the tea in China!!! It can be such a huge PITA.
Actually, it didn't bother me. It felt like carrying out the instructions of her will to the letter was the "last thing I could do for Mom". There is definitely a steep learning curve - mostly vocabulary - and it was like having a part-time job for a year. The paperwork fills two large cardboard boxes.

Strangely, it brought my sisters and I closer than we'd ever been before. Perhaps not so strangely after all, since it made it clear that we were the ones left to help each other if the need arose.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Strangely, it brought my sisters and I closer than we'd ever been before. Perhaps not so strangely after all, since it made it clear that we were the ones left to help each other if the need arose.
It seems to have brought my brother (executor) and me closer together, as well. There are SO many ways in which he could have been less than impartial, and yet during the past eleven months he has walked that fine line admirably even when he didn't have to. He has also dealt with all obstacles firmly and with intelligence and insight. It has confirmed to me that he really is the man I always thought he was and have looked up to all these years.

"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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