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Is it ultimately easier/more fair to sell off personal items (unless specifically requested by children/grandchildren) rather than putting them through all the decisions and possible conflicts?

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I think this process can either be simple or quite complex, it just depends on the family. My sister has 3 adult children, 10 grandchildren, and 8 greats. No one, and I do mean NO ONE, in her family has the life style to support the things my sister has. And by support, I mean even the ability to house things. All of her family live in a much simpler and lower financial atmosphere. My sis's concerns are that one only gets a minimal amount on the sale of things and she has some very expensive things. So, ultimately, what does one do in this type of situation?
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Why would there be resentment among the siblings when the decision to distribute the assets was not their doing? Your Father must have had a reason for stating so in his will. It was what he wanted. You should be happy he had his say.
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Before you sell off personal items, the family members need to talk about what matters to each of you. If there is something that has particular sentimental value to someone, they might be very upset if it is sold without her input. There were six siblings when my father died 13 years ago, leaving some money (but not much) and a will that gave a vacation house to one of us and a valuable NYC apartment (without a mortgage to another of us while dividing the modest amount of money that was left equally between the six of us. The two siblings that got the valuable real estate, were the executors of my father's will. That caused considerable resentment among the siblings, some of which continues to this day. It is very important to discuss what will be before it is time to make those decisions.
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In our area we have companies that handle estate sales, from pricing, hosting the sale, moving and liquidation of items. They charge a small percentage of total sales. Good luck, I will be faced with this same dilema and will use them to keep it all fair. The siblings can attend the sale earlier than public to get what they want.
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Get a trusted attorney involved right away, regardless of cost. Preserving family relationships is paramount. Grief is a "wild card" and you never know how it plays out in loved ones.
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Sounds good to me. Have an executor that knows all your wishes and can stand up to the family.
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