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My dad recently moved into assisted living. My sister has POA. Dad wanted his kids and grandkids to take the things they wanted from the home and sell what no one wanted. My sister has arranged for an auction and we're instructed that we can bid on things we want at the auction but not not take anything else out of the house. I realize that there are problems like this along the way and my dad does need money for future living expenses, but I know most of his stuff is not worth $$$ but are invaluable in the memories. Must we abide by my sister's instructions?

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thank you cwillie, that helps me with not having been able to get my grandmother's - then my dad's - treadle sewing machine - you're right; it's really the memories that are precious, not the machine itself - what would I do with it if I had it - though I'd probably find somewhere, since they did
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I found that when we did Mom's estate sale that I wished I had kept a few more things, because unless they are super valuable big ticket high quality items, they really do sell for next to nothing. The proceeds may not even cover a month of care. Sister is not abiding by dad's wishes doing it this way; you can try to go heart to heart with her if there is one thing or a few you dearly want, and suggest that other family members should get a chance to do the same, or you can let it go.
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Our family handled my grandmother's possessions this way. The reasoning was that everyone would have an opportunity to bid on things they liked so there would be no squabbling about who got what. The reality was that my older, more financially established cousins were able to snap up heirlooms while we were left counting our spare change in the hope of getting a few trinkets. It probably was for the best though, I'm really glad today I didn't some of those larger items, such as the pedal sewing machine. Its the memory of her teaching me to make a teddy bear on it, not the machine itself, that is precious!
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It is only fair that the items be sold. I have been there, done that. It is too bad that the grandfather did not give his stuff away, when he could have. My mother's house is sitting intact and she is 96. As long as she is alive, we can't sell it.
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Thanks. He does have some dementia but is not totally not incapacitated. He does have difficulty in remembering somethings. There will be a public auction only. Family members get no special consideration.
I do get that we want to get as much as we can for his future care, but as I said, most of the stuff is sentimental in value and will not bring a lot, especially when the auctioneer takes his cut.
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Has there been any diagnosis of dementia, or is your father still legally capable of making his own decisions? If the former, and if your sister is acting pursuant to a DPOA executed by your father, it may be that you have to abide by her decision, although I think it's in rather poor taste to require the family to bid at auction. Perhaps if no one bids she'll rethink her position.

However, I do understand that she's probably trying to recoup all the money she can for your father's future care.

OTOH, if your father is still capable of making decisions, it's his right to do so and decide if he wants to subject the family to bidding at an auction.

When does she plan to open the auction to the public to sell what the family doesn't want?
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