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I had to do this in order to spend down for my Mom to qualify for Medicaid. She has dementia and heart condition plus a list of other issues a mile long that prevent her from going home ever again. She's been in a nursing home for over 4 years. I did all the work, but under the knowledge of her PoA - he signed off on everything.

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I had to do that too, as POA. Mom had to sign off on resigning as trustee and I had to have incapacity letters but they were sadly very easy to get. After I moved her to live near me she eventually asked about the house and I told her I had found a nice couple to move in and pay for all the upkeep and that was pretty OK with her...she was reassured by pictures that the yard was mowed and plants tended...she never had to entirely stop hoping she would go back, but she did think in terms of finding an apartment near me when she could walk again (which was not going to happen...she went into hospice and passed on.) She felt like the other couple "maybe pushed us out" but would not want to make THEM move out...made no sense really, but at that point it was OK. I found it the hardest thing emotionally that I had ever done, to set up an estate sale and sell my childhood home, to take Mom's world apart like that, and I just could not tell her and think it was for the best that I didn't.
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I am in the very slow process of trying to empty my mother's house now. She has been in AL for 2 1/2 years. The house is in need of so many repairs that it is not even worth fixing up yo get it ready to sell. I have contacted one of these companies that buys houses in a very quick time when we are ready to sell it. My mother just qualified for VA A&D so if I sell it now I have to tell them and she will lose that benefit because once sold it is considered her asset and that would put her over their allowable asset amount. Life insurance annuities do not count towards her assets and what little she has in annuities will go towards funeral expenses when the time comes. My problem is what to do with all of the things? Mom kept everything, yet there are things like her sterling silver chest we can not find because she hid it. My mother's does not ask about her house anymore except to say that she wants to leave where she is living now. Lucky for us she trusts her doctor of 40 years so when we tell her that he picked the place where she is now because of all of the stairs in her house she accepts it. There is no money that can be spared to pay for labor to move things so it is very slow going trying to empty her house. I find that it is my sister and I who find it emotional to be getting rid of her things but we just don't need them. What do I do with all of the albums of all of her travels around the world, they don't mean anything to me? Actually working on moms house has lead me to reconsider what things I am holding on to that my children will not want and have to get rid of........
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This is a very difficult thing to do. My mom had to stay in the SNF after her sub acute rehab-something we did not plan on. Her condo held 27 years of accumulated stuff. I had to clean it out and sell it. She knew she couldn't go back but she still talks about it and refers to me as her daughter who sold her condo out from under her.
I know in some cases money is an issue but I spent a small amount to hire people to help me. One was a "relocation" company --two women who do this for a living.
They came in and helped me organize, pack and even took things to donation centers. I had a close friend there when they came in and we all packed things up. They kept us on track and focused
It cost me $200 and believe me it was the best money I spent. The woman from the company kept us on track and gave us a lot of hints on what to do and how to do it. Another person came in who owns a second hand store and she looked over things and told me what she wanted to buy. I used her mover to get the things to her shop. That was $150. So far she has sold about $600 of my mom's things.
I did rent a small storage unit for the things I did not know what to do with and needed more time to look into what they were worth. That is costing about $50 a month but it took the pressure off about getting rid of things. My sister and I are going thru those things as we can and selling some on eBay. I don't plan to keep it for long but it gives us time to look into what to do with some of mom's things.
Also some of the donation centers will pick things up for free. St. Vincent De Paul is one as is AmVets. What about the public library for her books? Is there anything of historical significance that the local library or history museum might want?I also had to shred a lot of paperwork from years ago that my mom kept. Sometimes your community has a shredding day (free) where you can take up to 50lbs at a time.I didn't know any of this until I had to take care of this for my mom. Talk to your friends and ask if they have had to do this and how they did it. It was amazing what kind of information I found out by doing that. Also if you have a senior citizen center in your area, contact them to see if you can get any helpful hints. It is a very hard thing to do.
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BLS - your mom "collection" is like what my mom's house was like. A room full of sewing items....Boxes of Rick Rack, piping, fabric, zippers, bobbins.....does anyone even remember rickrack on clothes!!! Boxes of old vacation planning stuff...old Esso & Sinclair road maps, brochures from historic sites.

The sewing stuff all went to the nuns at a nearby convent, apparently they have a sewing circle from several parishes who make layettes.

But the old travel & old printed material (magazines, cooking guides) was used by teachers & they were thrilled to get it to be able to use for collages. One of my artist cousins brought a middle school teacher over & they took a van full of stuff. Art programs if they even exist in public schools are underfunded & moms stuff could convert to supplies. It was nice knowing that some of my childhood vacation could become McCarthy's " the Road" book report collage.

Mom moved from home to IL so it was a culling of stuff to do this, maybe 1/4 of furniture moved to IL. Rest of house less a bedroom got sold at garage sale. Made less than $ 1,000. Really unless your parents are the rare true collector most of what is in that house filled with decades of items is pretty worthless.

let all our posts be a lesson to ourselves to downsize
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Mom lives with me. She knows we sold her house but forgets several times per week. We had to give most of her nice furniture away; nobody in the family really wanted it or said they did then did not show up to haul it off. I called St. Frances quickly, who picked the remainder quickly, thank God, since the new owner gave us very little time to get out. Every once in awhile, mom will throw a fit and tell her imaginary "friend" that we've taken everything she has and that she has no money. She had already moved in with me, met the real estate agent who sold her house, knew at the time it was on the market. I was always honest with her about what was and still is happening. To this day, she really has totally lost interest in most of her things, her clothing, etc. I kept what she could actually wear and what was practical. I ended up buying her car. But she does grieve about her nice things when she has days when she remembers her house. The money from the sale of her house is in the bank. When she throws her fits, I explain the whole business to her again. It is a terrible thing when a person knows years ahead of time that he/she is having problems managing a household yet refuses help. I tell her sorry, but we did what we had to do and that when she could make sound decisions, she just refused to, stubborn as hell. I tell her repeatedly that nobody has robbed her and that her money is intact in all her accounts at this time. She can barely manage a $20 bill to carry in her purse these days and is always losing or dropping that, but I have yet to take her purse away from her. That's coming soon, I'm sure. Good luck to you.
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We sold my mom's house in the spring. She could no longer live by herself and moved in with me in another state. I am her POA. She is unaware her house has been sold. It was very stressful for me to do this but I had the support of the family. The last time I took her back to her house she didn't know where she was and I saw no need to hold on to the property. Her property taxes were outrageous. Having the POA made it all possible but not easy! The lawyer decided he'd rather have Mom sign rather than use the POA....he had not seen Mom and had no idea just how bad she was. And being out of state also made it all harder. I am so glad it's all done. Very stressful for me....and yes, the guilt still bothers me sometimes.
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Hi,

First, I am the POA. Yes, I did have to sell the house and many of the contents. I kept a some things for myself and my daughter. But my mom had been an antique dealer in the 60's and 70's and she had a LOT of stuff. Her house was bursting.

Many very nice antiques that my daughter and I either had no room for or real interest in (the list would stun you! Copper lustre, state plates, fairy lamps, ...), I gave over to an antiques auctioneer. We have a lot of those in our area. As I have written elsewhere, we did not get much for them though the auction was well attended by collectors and dealers. The antiques market tanked, which I did not know. It paid for 2/3 of a month in her AL! That was just last summer--my mom has been in AL for thirteen months. I never told her about this sale and I never, ever will. Interestingly, she rhapsodizes for hours about her antiques but when I once mentioned one specific important piece, she could remember it. (FYI, we thought it was worth $10-20K. Turns out it was worth, and I have triple checked this: $300. But I digress...)

I sold the house last July. I told her about it months after the sale and she just assumed that she had forgotten it. And, then, she forgot that, too. Every now and then she remembers and says that she wants to move back so that she can work in the garden. My husband and I sit quietly and do not remind her that SHE COMPLAINED ABOUT WORKING IN THE GARDEN FOR FIVE MONTHS OF EVERY YEAR UNTIL WE HAD TEARS IN OUR EYES.

The happy ending to the story is that she is really content in her AL and plays bridge several times a week. In fact, in this short time, she has become so acclimated to it that she actually gets a tad nervous when we take her out. She enjoys a short ride to a quiet place for an ice cream or lunch or dinner. Then she is almost relieved to go back. One hour, not too far, not too many people or too much confusion. That is what she can handle now. and that is just right for us, too.
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As an archivist and a local HS volunteer, I should also say that historical societies (and academic libraries! Your local college library will probably have a special collections department), do take things that are of historical value to the area or people that lived there. You will have to sign a donor agreement and either sign over ownership of the item(s) or be willing to let the item be used for research and/or display. The archivist or librarian (if they accept your items), will let you know what they plan on doing with your things.Please don't be angry if they don't want them or don't have plans to display them right away. Most HS are overwhelmed with donations and just can't possibly display everything. They may even want to sell the item in order to provide funds for say a new furnace, a new roof, etc. Please don't be offended with that idea either because at least your loved ones things helped preserve other historical things. With our HS, the money goes into building preservation and other projects that we have going on in order to provide more materials for people to look at and remember our local history. Not in someone's pocket. Also: A lot of people bring in donations that don't have any significance to the local area and want those things displayed in the Society. Sometimes we become a storage facility for things that people can't bear to get rid of, but don't want them taking up space in their house. So, yes!! Take those things to your library or HS. One of our nicest displays is one that presents military uniforms of men and women of the community who have served at one time or another. We have uniforms from the Civil War through Iraq and I know that visitors love to see them and are proud of the community because of the display.
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My mother's house is a split level with a basement. I can not get up and down step easy myself let alone carry things with me when I do. Mom literally has accordion folders with every year of financial papers, tax records, health insurance statements back to the 1980's. Nice her credit union is still the same all of this stuff needs to be shredded. We try to sit and do a couple of folders every time we go over there. All of the 4 bedrooms still have all of the furniture, the dressers are filled with quilt material ( a lot I have sold) and all upstair closets are filled with new clothes with tags still on. We wrap her own new clothes as presents for her for her birthday be use she does not remember buying anything. There a set of crystal glasses in a cabinet in the kitchen that have never been used dunce they were put in the cabinet in 1962! I would Li,e to try to get someone to come in who has a re-sale store and make me an offer on the dressers and other furniture si that they can tie it away but I don't know how to find such a person?
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Yes, I just finished this process about 2 weeks ago. At 96, mom still wanted to go back to her senior housing after rehab for her 2 toe amputation. But a week before her release from rehab, she suffered a CHF incident and her health went downhill really fast. Medicaid was pending so I took her to my own home, but could only last 8 days-we were getting no sleep and I was paying over $100/day to have someone sit with mom while we were out. So I finally decided to pay over $15K to put her into a LTC facility while awaiting Medicaid paperwork. I had 2 weeks to clean out her apt, which is 1 1/2 hrs away from me. What I finally did, after I took out mom's clothes and other personal effects, was engage the services of a friend of hers in the building-she held a "yard " sale in the building and sold just about everything in a week. She raised only $200 and I gave her 1/2 for her efforts. It was really worth it and people in those large senior buildings love to shop for cheap in neighbor's places. Mom was sad but I tried to explain to her that for her own safety, she could not live back in her apt. She is still unhappy about it, but as several social workers and a priest told me, I am the "parent" role now, and she is the "child". As a parent we sometimes make decisions in the best interest of the child that they do not like. Their judgement is not sound so it is up to us to do the right thing. Good luck!
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