My husband's Mom just entered AL. How involved with cleaning, dispersing remaining items should I get?

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He has a brother in another state that has been a continued disappointment to us. He did not even contact his mother when his father passed away until 2 months later.

I just don't want this to come back to bite me in a dysfunctional family setting, yet want to support my husband.

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Great recommendation about taking photos. MIL can be competent but she goes through periods where signs of Alzheimers are revealed such as fantasies or real agitation, cursing. She was agreeable to moving to AL due to financial reasons but she has only been there 2 days. She is from the depression generation who really are tight with their money. No one else lives in the house. They had no friends and lived a secluded life.

Both of her sons have said they don't want anything from their parents with the exception of a small antique stand which MIL sanded and stained from her husband's family. My hubby told his brother that we had to keep that because she is so proud of it. His parent's were pack rats saving jars, glass bottles, ice cream buckets, And clothes with little money, so anything of value came from the previous generation.

The brother's family has not been in touch with her at all. Confuses me because they were closer than our family. I don't get it, so being very cautious.

Thanks for idea. I'll pass that along to my husband when he gets to that point.
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Print out JessieBelle suggestions. They are spot on! Also take photos with your phone of all rooms, open cabinets & drawers too & take photos, etc. and save all these in your computer. Someone is gonna grouse....l

My mom - decades ago too - was the one who cleared out her parents home. Only her & her youngest brother (out of 7 kids) did anything, I was in maybe in K or 1st grade at the time too. My dad since he had a truck & was able to place stuff on consignment at the base exchange (dad was gs 15 civil service) took all the big stuff there. Including musical instruments. Still to this day, I have older cousins who still grouse about WTF happened to the harp, the mandolins, the marble topped end tables, etc. Makes me glad to be on only child.

Do what you can to help hubs, but be proactive in keeping visual records what was in the house. Good luck & those big freezer grade ziplocks are great for storing paperwork & photos.
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We need a little more information to be of much help. Is your MIL competent? If so, you may want to run things past her. If you have an estate sale, it can provide more money for her to live on. Does your husband have POA for finances? That would be very important here. Does anyone else live in your mother's house? That is a big question, since you wouldn't want to clear the house if someone is living there. :) Is there any chance that she might come home again, if only for a short while?

If you start giving things away, it may stir up some resentments in the family. However, if you have an estate sale where your MIL receives the money, no one should contest the use of her things to provide for her.

If you do decide to start clearing her house, your husband may want to ask his brother if there is anything reasonable he might like to set back for himself. Often people have a favorite vase or table that they want to keep. I would give him that option, even if he has been a continuing disappointment to you. I wouldn't be surprised from what you write, however, if he never came by to get what is set back for him.
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