Dear Ann Landers,
I come from a large family. A few months ago, we lost our dad. During his illness, he made a detailed list of items he wanted to leave to his children and grandchildren. Mom told him, "This is still my home, and these are my things, too. Nothing leaves."
This led to a discussion between my brothers and sisters. We agreed that nothing would be taken from the house. A few siblings, however, have been taking items for their children. This angered the rest of us, and we asked them to return these items. We argued that Mom is still alive and these things belong to HER. As of now, not one of the siblings has returned anything.
We also feel that when Mom goes, the heirloom items should be handed down to US and not to the grandchildren. Then, if we choose, we will pass them on to the next generation. Please, Ann, print this letter and your comments so the entire family can read them. -- Discord in Canada
I have no idea if Grandma is leaving behind the crown jewels of the Ottoman Empire or some pots, pans and beaded lampshades. I suggest she hire a professional appraiser and an attorney and get a will spelled out now. If she doesn't, I predict a world-class family fight that will turn into a two-generation disaster. Meanwhile, forget about the items that have already been taken from the house. It sounds as if there's enough dissension as it is.