My stepfather's belongings

(17 Posts)
RomeosJuliet Thu 31-Jan-13 11:56:58

My DSF died - in his 80s - a couple of years ago after living with me. His belongings are still in this house. He left everything, quite rightly, to his three sons - my stepbrothers. I feel that it's time that his things went but I am not the sort who takes things to the tip just to get rid of them.

His things belong to his sons and, although I have mentioned their coming to take them and do what they like with them (keep them, charity shop, Freecycle, give to someone else), nothing moves. I cannot get rid of them because they are not mine. I promised my DSF that his boys would have his things and I can't go back on that promise and I don't want his things to suffer house clearance. Only his wardrobe has been gone through by one son and there are still clothes etc left for the other two to look at.

One stepbrother lives hundreds of miles away, one lives in France and the third lives about 30 miles away.

What can I do to hurry them up?

Madlizzy Thu 31-Jan-13 11:58:52

I'd give them a date to collect things by, otherwise the stuff will have to be given to charity. I know you promised your stepfather, but it does mean that his sons need to co-operate.

BerryChristmas Thu 31-Jan-13 12:01:35

It's not affecting them so they are not bothered. Do what Mad says and stick to it. Awful for you and they should not have left you in this position.

BridgetBidet Thu 31-Jan-13 12:48:19

Yep, do what Mad says. Tell them that there is a reasonable date (give them a couple of months) by which they need to have come and had a look and decided what they do or don't want. Be flexible with the date, if there are genuine reasons they can't attend by that date fix another one. But once it is mutually set stick to it. You can't wait indefinitely for each to attend at their leisure.

The only thing I would disagree with is that if there is anything of value that they don't claim then I would sell it rather than give it to charity, you can then pass the money onto them if you wish or split it to reflect your trouble.

ratspeaker Thu 31-Jan-13 12:56:04

I feel if they'd wanted anything they'd have taken it in the last couple of years.

If you disposed of anything are not breaking any promises made to your DSF, the sons have had ample time to collect anything they wanted or needed, effectively they've abandoned the stuff but if it makes you feel better I'd write to each of them saying you need the remains of their fathers estate out of your house and give them a date to come take or dispose of what they want.
Say that after that date anything left uncollected you will give it to charity.

maddening Thu 31-Jan-13 13:10:48

Pack them up and take them to closest dsb

CaptChaos Thu 31-Jan-13 13:25:34

What Mad said really, but you'll need to sort through before you hand anything over to charity. IME a lot of older people keep some very surpising things in very odd places, and it would be a shame to get rid of things that might hold memories for you or your DSB's.

DontmindifIdo Thu 31-Jan-13 13:27:38

yes, alternatively, give them a date, tell them by then they have to make the choice, either they collect it or you charity shop it, or you will have it all boxed up and shipped to them to sort through at their house, but they will get the bill for the shipping.

ratspeaker Thu 31-Jan-13 13:32:29

But the stepbrothers have had 2 years to sort though and find anything of sentimental value for themselves.
Not days or weeks or months, YEARS.

HecateWhoopass Thu 31-Jan-13 13:40:55

Legally all you have to do is write to them by some form of recorded delivery and give them a date (that is a reasonable time away) by which they have to have collected their things or you will consider them abandoned and will dispose of them as you see fit.

If you want to feel doubly sure - do it through a solicitor.

GandalfsHat Thu 31-Jan-13 13:46:24

what dintminifIdo said, but inform them by letter/email, so it is in writing.

BridgetBidet Thu 31-Jan-13 17:21:09

Sorry, still say sell anything of value and give the money minus any expenses you've incurred selling it. If there is stuff that is of value I would be pissed if you just gave it to charity. Plus if I was the one doing the selling I would suggest a split of the money to make up for the inconvenience to me for selling, say a 40/60 split in their favour.

44SoStartingOver Thu 31-Jan-13 17:23:01

I think they lose the right to be pissed at giving things to charity after failing to do anything about it for two years!

BridgetBidet Thu 31-Jan-13 17:49:09

I know, but on the other hand if the OP wants to continue to have good relations with them then it might be an idea, particularly if they were amenable to a split where the OP could also profit from it.

Yfronts Thu 31-Jan-13 19:20:13

Dear step brothers,

On April the 25th I will be having huge sort out and intend to charity shop all SD's items left in the house on this date. I need to make space for my huge new telly and a king sized waterbed and as you know the house is quite small. Please do arrange a time/date to collect. I'm happy to help with lifting/carrying and will happily feed you all too. Would be lovely to catch up.

Love xx

Yfronts Thu 31-Jan-13 19:21:27

Or pack them and deliver them to 30 mile away brother.

Lovely of you to care for him. Rude of his sons not to honour that by dealing with his stuff. As others said, notify them of when you will be disposing of his things if they don't get their arses in gear and do it with a clear conscience.

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