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My folks have both passed on. I was the main caregiver. My brother is executor. I have taken care of my folks for the last 25 years, 7 quite intensely, as their needs heightened. My brother, who is POA, executor of the will, golden child (according to mom) lives internationally.......he was NEVER here to help me with mom and dad. My sister, who lives about 10 hours away, called mom all the time, and that was her help. She was NEVER here to help me with anything also. Even at the end, when I let them know that things didn't look good for mom, they couldn't come! I was the ONLY one here to be with them, help them and basically watch them pass on to the new world! Now, they criticize me for virtually everything........BUT, they weren't HERE to help at any time of the game! I don't feel bad or guilty for HOW I handled anything. I did it my way and that was wonderful for both my mom and dad, so that's all that matters to me! I feel SO blessed to have been in a position that I could HELP them in their years of NEED. I had just retired from teaching, so had time, however I still wanted support, but NEVER got it from my siblings, even though I asked! I have a very supportive husband and daughter, and that's HOW I got through it. There was a time I did need to back off for a while, as I was entering a severe BURNOUT time for myself and felt I would be NOT doing anyone any good. This last year I did really start taking care of me, along with continuing to care for my mom. It was a challenge, but I knew I had to do it. I took care of me first, then my mom and then I wasn't as angry about the situation. Anyway, I was the one here, I was the one who took care of mom and I was the one who helped her along life's journey until her end. It was a BEAUTIFUL journey and I feel so BLESSED to have been there with her and for her......for it ALL! THEN CAME THE FAMILY for her Memorial and STUFF! I was SNUBBED, CRITICIZED and basically SHUNNED from the group (my family)..........because WHY????? I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER understand this?!!!! I had been here, they had NOT! Now, I was the bad guy? Really???? Anyway.....my question is about the HUGE division of property. It's between just my siblings, which is a blessing. However, they want to simply make a list and take their first 10-15 items without any problems. I think it should be like how teams are picked. A goes first, then B, then C. Then you could go B, C, then A. Then C, A, and B. You could keep going with that pattern and every gets a chance to go first, until all the stuff is gone. But, they want the list and when I looked at the list, they, of course, want all the HIGH-DOLLAR, PRICEY items that mom and dad had. They want to leave me with the regular STUFF! I would really LOVE to hear WHAT has worked for other families with the division of property. (My brother WILL not do an INVENTORY of what is in the storage. Wants to take his expensive stuff, along with my sister and basically leave me the keys for everything else and I'll be STUCK clearing out the Storage units! I'm livid about this!) Please tell me WHAT worked for your families. I would greatly appreciate any help offered!

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Fooey on them. Let them take all the stuff. You have the memories that no one can take away from you. Greed brings a curse. Let them have it.
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Dear AZsunshine,

I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. Its always hard being the good daughter. I know its hurtful when the siblings give no acknowledgement or validation for your time and effort. You were an amazing daughter to do all the work of caring and loving your parents till the end. It would be decent of your siblings to let you have what you wanted first but I know its tough. Communication has never been easy with me when it comes to my siblings. I always thought they "knew" and would just offer me something, but they didn't. Try telling them how you feel and what is you want specifically and hopefully they will see how tough it has been for you.

In my own family, I was the oldest and also did everything for my parents. When my dad passed he didn't have a lot. The most valuable thing was his Rolex watch. My one sibling really wanted the watch and instead of fighting, I gave it to her. And another sibling wanted his glasses. But that was about it. In terms of the money, there isn't that much either. I know everything family is different. I hope you can work with your siblings on an amicable division. I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow after everything you have been through with your parents.
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cwille, you just jogged my memory, after my Dad's Mom had passed, an auction was held and if the relatives wanted anything they had to bid on it.   My parents lived far out of state and at that time couldn't make it to the auction.   Just this moment it dawned on me that I don't remember seeing anything that belonged to my Dad's Mom in my late parent's house, and explained why. My Dad did have a lot of his Dad's tools when his Dad passed twenty years before his Mom.

Now, years before Dad's Mom had passed, she gave me her engagement ring.   I remember there was an uproar among my cousins, why did I get the ring when I only saw my grandparents once a year.   I could understand that, but that was her wish, not mine, I had never requested the ring.   I took the ring to a jeweler to see about the value of the ring, turned out the stone wasn't a diamond, it was glass.   A couple of my cousins claimed I made that up.

While cleaning out my late parent's house, I found a diary my Dad had when he was in grade school.... on one of the dates he wrote "Mom lost the diamond from her ring".   That solved the mystery.
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Back when my grandmother died they held an auction, reasoning that everyone would have a chance to bid on items they wanted. The reality of this was that those who had more money were able to purchase what they wanted and the younger poorer cousins could not.
A Great Aunt's family had a complicated lottery system set up, but that resulted in my mom ending up with some large pieces she had no use for and not getting a chance on anything she truly loved.
My Aunt's family basically invited everyone to come in and take what they wanted, but one son came late and found that the early birds had already left with everything he wanted to have.
The division of keepsakes is difficult no matter which way it is done and even the best of intentions to treat everyone fairly can go awry. If your sibs have a list then make sure you have one too, and don't hesitate to include things that they have on theirs! As for clearing out the dregs left after everyone has made off with their treasures, it isn't your problem or responsibility, that honour goes to the executor.
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Thanks for your feedback. It is interesting that, although neither of my siblings were here to help, they want the expensive stuff and kind of flaunt that in my face. I agree with you, I was the one here and should get first pick. It's also comical that when my brother, the executor, showed up and as we were going thru mom's stuff, he's asking me where everything is. We had just made one huge move and I truly didn't know where everything was, plus mom was starting to give things to people, I had no control over that. And, she NEVER did a list, because she didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings! All I know is that I was there helping her and trying to make her life easier for her at the end of her life, no one else was there to help me! That was my main concern!
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First the Will needs to go to the County Probate Court before anything is divided and taken home.   Unless your parents had everything in a Trust Agreement.   Once Probate is finished, could take many months, then things are divided accord to the Will.

Usually parents don't list items in the house, who gets what.   Wish they would, it would make live much easier.   Since your siblings rarely visited, how would they know what was still left in the house???   I say, since you were the one and only caregiver, you deserve to take first what you want.

As for the rest of the items, since your brother is Executor of the Estate, it is his turn to manage all of the rest of the items in the house and in the storage area.   You can sit and watch.

Oh gosh, clearing out everything, not fun.   You and your siblings could have a yard sale and divide up the money from the sale.   Items can be donated and that can be deducted from your parents income taxes, if either or both had passed last year.

As for the storage units.   If your brother and sister aren't interested in what is in there, you take what you feel is very important.   The rest call a junk hauling service, that also does donations where you will get the paper work.

Good luck !!!
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