I'm the one who lived closest by mom and dad. I helped mom tremendously with dad, and then helped her for another 15 years. Mom died and now, I am STILL taking care of her....estate! Thankfully, because of the close relationship we had, and because she trusted me, I was able to have her complete her Will, Trust and sign over the bigger elements of her property to her Trust and 5 kids. So there is actually not too much wrangling about who gets what. The biggest amount of time right now is in cleaning out her home and getting it ready for sale---even though she didn't accumulate what I thought was a lot of stuff, there is still, a LOT of STUFF to go through. I am spending several hours at a time over there, several times per week, and one weekend day every week with my spouse going thru it all. Because of identify theft we cannot just throw paperwork in the trash---we have to sort it into the bulk threshing boxes or the recycling boxes (actually we're tending to just thresh it all).
I hope all of you out there have gotten your wills DONE and your instructions are very CLEAR as to how you want your Estate to be handled. Even things like specifying if you DO want to donate all your clothing to charity, would be SO helpful (versus feeling like all clothing has to be inventoried and offered to 3 sisters who might just want certain items....very time-consuming!).
For simplicity, my parents only left things to the 5 kids, and nothing to the step-grandkids or even their own grandkids, this has been a godsend since I don't have SO many people to deal with. I know many grandparents might want to "remember" their grandkids---but, please, consider the extra work it will make for your Executor, and just let the grandkids receive something thru their parent.
The other thing I am learning as I go thru the early stages of all this is, there is no rush to get things done; and yet I am hearing weekly from one or the other of my siblings, when will I get some money.....it would be been AWESOME if my mom had actually written instructions into her Will, that NO MONEY would be given out for the first 6 months, and that the Exectuor had no need to "report" on the Estate for the first 6 months. Mom has not even been in the ground for (let me count it....) 7 weeks and the sibligns are already getting royally Antsy!
I will post more updates as time goes on.