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Like I said in the title guardian wants to split possessions.


Here is the whole story.


Through a very contentious guardianship proceeding, it was agreed that an independent guardian would be appointed to care for my mom.


Since then, mom has been moved to a memory care facility. I know the plan is to sell the house. I was told months ago that her possession would be sold, but the children would have first opportunity to buy items.


Now, I have learned that the guardian wants to mark (or sticker) all items in house. One color for me, one for my sibling, and one that we don't care about. If we cannot agree to an item it will be marked for storage. Storage that my mother will have to pay for!


I do not believe this is in the best interest of my mother. Why would her things be given to us when they can be sold for her care? And if we cannot agree on the item - why should my mother pay for storage and this settled at her death?


Would a judge approve that my mother pay for storage of items that she will never use again?


By the way - my mom does not know where she is or who anyone is anymore. She has no mental capabilities anymore.


Should I challenge the guardian and say that these items should be sold or at least be paid for by myself and sibling?

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I'd go ahead with the sticker plan, except for the part where "no one wants it" so it goes into storage. Instead just say, "okay I'll take it" Or let your sister have it and then if possible when you end up with it, sell it if you can and what won't sell give to charity. Then use the money for your mom.
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My mom had a guardian and conservator appointed by the court. Very contentious between the twisted sissies and me. Many things were sold at an estate sale. Some things were split, which for the most part I chose to not participate. I was the caregiver, just did not care. Every squabble that occurs that guardian is charging your mom.

Putting things in storage, I agree does not make sense, at all.

Twisted2, mom's POA and executor, decided that mom's business assets would be put in storage, that happened four years ago now. TS2 tried to sell some, but had more an emotional attachment to the items. Just yesterday, the things were moved out of storage to my unfinished basement. Over the course of that four years storage cost in excess of $25,000.00. That is finally done. To spend that kind of money on something TS2 considered only worthy of donation was causing issues with closure of mom's estate.

So, Stone, the more you do not agree, the more it will cost mom funds that are needed for her care. Accept 1/2 of the things to keep or donate or give to others. Go with the flow to get done with it.

Estate sale would raise funds for items at a rate of pennies on the dollar. It is tough, I know. I actually was the one that asked for a court appointed guardian, the situation was out of hand. There was nothing I could have done that would have convinced my twisteds of anything. Work with the guardian to show that you can and will cooperate for your mom's best interest.
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I would send a letter to the court. Could it be that this guardian is being paid by the hour and is figuring out how to get more than their fair compensation by creating jobs?

They have legal guidelines, do you know exactly what those are? I would get the paperwork pronto and get this resolved before it is to late.

I do think that you are allowed to take personal items from the estate, these are typically non asset, unless they are very valuable and specifically addressed in the will or trust. What would your mom want is the question of the hour.

Get yourself educated about what this guardian should be doing, is allowed to do and how they report to the courts. Knowledge is power in these situations.
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You say: "I do not believe this is in the best interest of my mother. Why would her things be given to us when they can be sold for her care? And if we cannot agree on the item - why should my mother pay for storage and this settled at her death?"

I see several choices for you and your sister:
1) take the items guardian marks for each of you and attempt to sell them yourself.
2) have all items moved to storage, but you and sister pay the storage fee until you resolve the "split".
3) have all items donated (at least the ones the guardian doesn't plan on selling.)
4) put out a free sign - if there is a garage, it could be put there and let people take stuff.
5) pitch anything guardian isn't holding for sale.

Any money you **might** make from selling the items can be used for mom. Either give the funds to the guardian for mom's care or use it to purchase anything mom might still enjoy.

For the most part, unless you know something is worth some money, most home furnishings and other items are pretty much not worth much. As others have said, it could cost MORE to try to sell everything than they are worth (exception would be yard sale, as this would only cost you time/effort.) Although some items may appear to be antiquey, it likely isn't and there are tons of them out there, a dime a dozen. Anything worth keeping is something that YOU like or that has some sentimental value to you. Anything else, donate, put it out for free or yard sale it.

In one reply you say you want 2 items, in another you want to walk away and let sister have her way. YOU have to make that decision. If you decide you do not want to argue and agree to give up the "stuff", go to the meeting and say that. Suggest anything sis doesn't want go to donation, not storage. If guardian insists on "splitting" and using storage, offer to pay for the storage and then get rid of the stuff asap. A free sign at the garage or side of the road can sometimes work! My son has done that a lot with his wife's grandmother's "stuff" that has been sitting for many years in the house they rent from her mom!! The "stuff" generally disappears quickly!

Cleaning out mom's condo, my brothers took what they wanted. I only took a few items that could be useful. Most of the other "stuff" either went to neighbor for church rummage sale (random items), Goodwill (mostly clothes), a place near mom's that took furniture, including decent mattresses, or was trashed. WAY too much was hauled here to my place by one brother (most of her clothes - several truckloads!! - went to Goodwill, but at least 5 boxes of shoes, maybe another 4-5 boxes/totes of clothes that were missed, fake plants galore, linens, tablecloths, placemats, napkins, both linen and paper, etc etc etc are all cluttering up my place!!! I did NOT want this stuff, most should have been donated or tossed. I had enough to do without dealing with this crap, getting mom in a safe place and managing everything for her care, and just now, several years later, am going through it to make room that I need in my garage!)

If all else fails, PITCH IT ALL!
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Yep! Pitch it!
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I'm assuming a guardian was appointed by the court because you and your sister couldn't agree on what should happen to care for your mother. I'm sure it's more complicated than that but that's the basic boil down. I think you need to just let the appointed guardian do their job, they need to report every penny and every move to the court, they aren't simply working autonomously or for themselves since this person isn't associated with the family aside from this new appointed position. I'm not sure why you would have an issue with this, I think the more typical complaint in this situation is that the guardian is selling everything off without consideration of the kids so I'm thinking you got a caring one who want's to do the best they can by the entire family. It is their primary job and purpose to care for your mom though so if they feel there are enough funds to manage the care she needs until her passing while giving you and your sister the items you want why fight it? If you really don't want any more items then don't put stickers on anything but I would urge you to include your children in claiming items important to them as well if you have any. You might be surprised at the salt shaker your daughter became attached to because GM always used it when they cooked together or something. Then if both you and your sister have dot's on the same items and one of those is the salt shaker be sure to calmly, dare I say lovingly, tell her it is (Sara's) choice not yours and will go directly to her, maybe it will make a difference and maybe not but currently you say you have no investment in any of the items so it should be easy to just give in then and say ok you take it sis but maybe you could consider leaving it to Sara in your will. As far as having your mother pay for storage, again if the guardian feels it's affordable why fight it and if the items really don't mean anything to you why not let your sister just have them, no regrets?

If your mom runs out of money to support her placement and it doesn't sound like that's on the horizon, it's the courts problem not yours, they appointed a guardian to use and conserve her money the best way possible and if she runs out I think they then become responsible for making sure she continues to be cared for, she wont be thrown out on the street and it may very well be the case that the MC she is in also has Medicaid beds or a plan in place to keep her there even if she should run out of enough money to self pay. This isn't like a family trying to preserve a LO's estate by finding ways to keep things and have the state pay for their care, this is the state in full control. Maybe you are just so conditioned to fight for your mom, feel like you need to protect her that's it's hard to let go now that you no longer have that responsibility or option. Did you agree that having a court appointed guardian was the best resolve at this point? Try stepping back and out a bit here, focus on taking care of yourself and the rest of your family don't let go of your family treasures (they may have monetary value and they may not, it doesn't matter) and memories out of frustration now and be sorry later including the gift of being able to just spend quality time with your mom now in her current home, the one she will likely pass in. Be a part of her life and just experience that from now on, let the guardian take care of the details and headaches they are being paid to take care of.
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I am against storage as it ends up costing more than the value of the items. We did that with some of dad's furnishings when he moved from AL to LTC. Paid about $1000 to store and then I said enough and we donated them to Salvation Army. You can’t hardly give away used furniture...it’s ridiculous. Even young kids just starting out don’t want our stuff.
When we sisters went through dad and mom's items when we moved him to IL, we used stickers. There were 4 of us. If two or more of us put a sticker on the same item we drew a number from a bowl. The person with the higher number won the choice. You can also use a deck of cards. We accepted the decision and moved on.
Then we had an estate sale and donated what was left behind. You need to come up with an agreed upon method to dispose of these items and not store them.
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Lymie61 Aug 2019
My family did this with my GM estate but rather than draw for each item with more than one sticker they rotated turns so for instance if my mom and her sister both wanted a table and my mom and her brother both wanted a chest she could decide which one to take as her first choice and either hope her sibling would choose something else first so she could choose the other item on her next turn. But they got along and this also included discussions about why someone wanted something (it was important to and for their child or grandchild) so there was a lot of agreement prior to the choosing even.
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A few questions/points.
1) Will mom have to apply for Medicaid at some point? If so then giving things away may not be a wise option.
2) Most "things" are not worth what people think they are worth. So selling may not produce that much in the way of income.
3) If the Guardian thinks it is necessary for the storage unit then the court will approve of it even though I agree it is a waste of money. Anything that can not be sold or that you or other heirs do not want could be donated to a local Charity. (Not much of a write off but some).
4) You have every right to go to court to let the judge hear your opinion.
5) while it may cost a % it might be wise to get someone in with Estate Sale background that can appraise what is in the house and get it ready for an Estate Sale that will draw more people. There are people that follow Estate Sale companies so look for one that has a good reputation and is known in your community. (and the % it will cost still puts more money in your mom's account than paying for a storage unit or giving things away. Although you should take a few pieces that mean something to you..if you want them)
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Great advice Grandma1954. Nothing to add but kudos to you!
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Let it go... it’s just “stuff”. We spend 1/2 of our lives collecting stuff, and then spend the other 1/2 getting rid of the stuff. If we’re lucky anyway.
if something of your moms has sentimental value to you, then by all means request the item.
otherwise, why worry about “stuff” ?
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Let this conversation be a lesson to us all. Start getting rid of the extra "stuff" that we have in our homes. Sell, donate but don't make your kids be the ones responsible for it all. My dad had an absolute basement full of power saws, tools etc. as he was a cabinet maker, furniture builder etc. He could have sold them when he quit building but did he? NO! So then at 93 when we moved him and had an estate sale he felt he was ripped off for how little he got. Well...I fault him for not getting rid of them when he had a full brain and time. But we got the blame of course!
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Very wise answer Harpcat. I have spent the last year, 10 months emptying the "stuff" from my parents house. My Pop died 16 years ago. My mom is 88 (Alz) and living with my husband and I. There was stuff in all the attic spaces, stuff in the basement and crawl space, stuff in spaces that they could not possibly access anymore, stuff on the beds, under the beds, beside the beds, spilling out of clothes closets and linen closets. And the garage! Pop was also a woodworker - all the tools and machines, pieces/parts that could have been given away when he was still alive but unable to work with wood anymore. My mom doesn't know but I have given away her clothes (enough for 10 women), the china, crystal and silver, paintings and art work either to someone with a liking to it or to charity. I tried to give china, etc to my children but they did not want it. A different lifestyle and era. Now that the "stuff" is gone, I am finding leaking pipes, leaking radiators, rotten floors. I joke that the only thing that works in that 100 year old house is me.
The only good news is that I will absolutely never do this to my 3 children.
And yes, she was a hoarder.
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@StoneMan, why challenge the guardian's plan? Why not challenge the will made last year? Surely your mom wasn't "of sound mind" that recently.
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