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Selling late-relatives stuff

(29 Posts)
silverballoon Sun 14-Sep-08 11:48:57

We have room in our kitchen for a freezer but cant afford one. DHs nan died a few weeks back (RIP) and MIL said we could have her freezer. We didn't ask for it and the thought never even entered our heads. This is great but she wants £40 for it. Is that strange of normal? I dont mind paying that as we cant afford to buy a new one, it just seems strange to me to sell stuff to your own family that isn't really yours? But that might be just me, I just know that my parents wouldn't do it, it would be different selling it to a stranger though so maybe this is normal. MIL is one of 5 children so its not like they will get a lot of money from it. I just wondered about your opinions.

RubySlippers Sun 14-Sep-08 11:50:43

hmmm - sounds a wee bit mean

will your MIL keep the money?

edam Sun 14-Sep-08 11:53:15

Very odd. Is your MIL normally clutch-fisted?

silverballoon Sun 14-Sep-08 11:58:19

I dont know what she will do with the money I didnt ask as I wasnt sure if this was normal or not. I didnt say anything to DH as obviously its his Mum and I didnt want to say anything in case I was being unreasonable to think it odd. MIL is strapped for cash, but aren't we all at the moment?

Dropdeadfred Sun 14-Sep-08 11:59:45

I guess you could count it as MIL's inheritance, which she is liquidating into cash...

Shitemum Sun 14-Sep-08 12:00:13

just tell her you would love to have it if no one else wants it but you cant afford to pay for anything

pooka Sun 14-Sep-08 12:06:44

Also if your MIL is one of 5 children, then the estate (including furniture and white goods) would have to be split 5 ways. What my father did, with his 3 sisters, when my grandmother died last year was to have an open house where all furniture and stuff was available to view. Obviously he and his sisters had priority over grandchildren in expressing interest in goods. Broadly the aim was to ensure that the 4 children had essentially a quarter share (more or less, though no one was quibbling or totting up) and if those children decided to use their "share" for their own children, then that was their decision.

I would be a bit taken aback to be asked to pay for something from my grandmother's house.

pooka Sun 14-Sep-08 12:08:52

And so much stuff from her house had no value in market terms, but was priceless in terms of the fact it belonged to her and has sentimental value. Hence the fact I am now a very proud and emotional possessor of some glass balls, a wind up metal mouse and a lot of very old photographs all of which remind me of her.

DustyTv Sun 14-Sep-08 12:11:21

It does sound a bit mean, I know my parents wouldn't do this, they would just give us it. My PIL OTOH would probably expect us to pay for it but they are a bit tight-fisted and greedy.

I don't think you are being unreasonable to think it is a bit odd, but I don't know what you can do about it though, sorry.

Dropdeadfred Sun 14-Sep-08 12:13:02

can your dhask if the will left him the choice of anything from his nans estate?

crokky Sun 14-Sep-08 12:17:42

Pretty strange behaviour IMO. When DH's nan died, all her children and grandchildren were asked if there was anything they could use/would like from her house. No money changed hands!

debzmb62 Sun 14-Sep-08 12:42:37

i think your MIL is out of order things are bad for us at the moment like alot of people but i,d give my kids my last penny i,d say to her look" i do really need the fridge but can't afford it " so she free to sell it on omg i really can,t beleive she's trying to sell it to you wonder if she'll maybe then just say look just have it ! she will if she has a heart !

Dropdeadfred Sun 14-Sep-08 12:46:13

Yes, try telling her you can't afford to buy it...?

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 14-Sep-08 12:51:39

maybe she really needs the money? Otherwise it seems odd, we share amongst family, if you don't need it and someone else does, you give it for free. Everyone benefits at some point.

catweazle Sun 14-Sep-08 13:31:54

What odd behaviour. When my grandma died everyone was asked if they wanted anything from the house. Some of the larger furniture no-one had room for was donated to the elderly people on the estate (grandma's neighbours) who wanted it. No money changed hands even outside the family.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Sep-08 13:36:36

she got the stuff for free after her mother died.

and now trying to flog it?

sounds weirdy.

i'd tell you can't afford to pay and best of luck to her flogging it all on.

ib Sun 14-Sep-08 13:43:07

Maybe she feels she should give her siblings something for it, sounds fair enough.

FabioBigBangBlackHole Sun 14-Sep-08 13:44:47

it wouldn't occur to me to sell a dead relation's things to another family member, especially a child.

it's baaaaad karma, man.

And, to be practical, a) if you can't afford a new one, can you afford £40? b) given that it's 2nd hand, is it in good nick, is it working well, what are the costs of getting it into your kitchen? and c) might be a false economy - if you can get by without one it may make better financial sense to save up for a new one.

Oh, and look on freecycle for a freezer.

AcquaAlta Sun 14-Sep-08 14:08:03

It does sound odd. The only thing I could think of is could the five siblings be converting the estate into cash to split five ways? Is it possible that they've had a house clearance firm in to give a quote, and your MIL is giving you first refusal on something you need? It's still odd though.

cat64 Sun 14-Sep-08 14:35:17

Message withdrawn

ethanchristopher Sun 14-Sep-08 16:35:38

that sounds a bit scringy

its not even hers

nametaken Sun 14-Sep-08 17:10:17

I just agree with lots of the other posters. YANBU - relatives are supposed to share, those are the (unwritten) rules aren't they?

Just say you'd love it but can't afford it, I mean for God's sake, if she had to take it down the dump she'd have to pay £25!!!!!

Then look on freecycle.

BalloonSlayer Sun 14-Sep-08 17:59:26

It is the executor of an estate's job to get the best price as possible for the personal effects. Everything possible has to be accounted for.

This is very difficult for most things, which are often worth a lot less than you'd think - that lovely old table would not fetch a penny at an auction - and tend to be given away for sentimental reasons.

New electrical goods however, are easy to price.

My late father had a lot of old things he had treasured. Most of them have been split between us. DH and I, however, have had his telly. It was only a few months old and we found the receipt in his effects. By common consent, we will "pay" for it, ie have our inheritance reduced accordingly, although my sister, who has kept a lot more of the old tat treasure than us will not pay for it, as we have no idea what it is worth. Which sometimes strikes me as odd, but none of us have any problem with it.

If you don't want the freezer, don't have it. They are not all that much more expensive new, and can often be expensive to dispose of grin.

scaryteacher Sun 14-Sep-08 18:20:12

dh's gran died in March, and all her stuff has been given away - no mention of anyone paying anything at all. TBH I think my mil is just glad to get rid of the stuff that was there.

I have to disagree with balloonslayer - surely the executors job is to value everything as low as reasonably possible to pay less in IHT?

My bil and his wife had grandma's freezer - they didn't pay for it - nor were they asked too. I don't think it occurred to any of the three siblings to ask, especially as all of the grown up grandchildren got a memento be it the furniture, a picture, or in our case, the Elizabeth david cookbooks and a couple of vases (which were precisely what we wanted as mementos).

plantsitter Sun 14-Sep-08 18:27:55

YANBU at all, but people do tend to get a bit weird about relatives' belongings after they've died. It's probably made worse by the 5 siblings hanging around and getting competitive about who should get what - it's v difficult to separate financial and emotional value when you're grieving. I would stay well away from it if you don't really need the freezer, or save up for a new one (I've just seen one in Argos for £100) as if this were my family I can imagine snide comments about how cheaply you'd got that freezer would be made for the rest of eternity! But maybe your family-IL is different...

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