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Feels very odd clearing his house

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
I went to my (still living) father's house yesterday. Because the former occupant had not left me the spare keys like he said, I had to break in - there was an already broken window pane. I then started stuffing the contents of the filing cabinet etc. into bags and shoving them in the car. I've never felt more like a burglar!

Going through some of the reams of paperwork today - most of it is old bank statements etc. but I noted that one box had quite a bit of post that was dated from earlier this year. He hasn't lived there this year so someone has been opening them (and not forwarding them on). Feel less guilty about changing the locks and screwing some of the doors shut where I couldn't find the keys.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,764
Kent
It`s the worst task when the person is still living. I`m not surprised you felt like a burglar @spandit. I remember looking over my shoulder when I cleared my mother`s house.

All the things she treasured being put into bin bags.

Horrible.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,690
@spandit, I too felt very odd sorting my mother's stuff out, and I didn't have the extra layer of problems that you've had too. I hope you've contacted all the banks etc, I'm just worried in case 'lodgers' might have tried to access old accounts, or maybe I'm being mean. Glad you've changed the locks.
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
80
It`s the worst task when the person is still living. I`m not surprised you felt like a burglar @spandit. I remember looking over my shoulder when I cleared my mother`s house.

All the things she treasured being put into bin bags.

Horrible.
I have just made a start on my mums house. It really is horrible. Every birthday card I and my children ever sent her. School books, every picture my children ever took her. Baby clothes from when my kids slept at her house. She has gone into a care home and won’t return but lived in the house for 53 years, I grew up there. It belongs to the council so in a couple of weeks we will have to rip the carpets up that she saved so hard to buy and throw them in the skip. I feel like a criminal and so heartless for throwing her memories away. I will keep as much as I can. I am only glad she can’t see me doing it.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,932
North West
watkin.observer
It's definitely a horrible experience having just completed the task and I agree with @Grannie G -all of those memories going into to black bin bags -awful. If I could have kept it all I would, but of course thats just impossible.

Good luck with the house @spandit, good you changed the locks pdq
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,932
North West
watkin.observer
I have just made a start on my mums house. It really is horrible. Every birthday card I and my children ever sent her. School books, every picture my children ever took her. Baby clothes from when my kids slept at her house. She has gone into a care home and won’t return but lived in the house for 53 years, I grew up there. It belongs to the council so in a couple of weeks we will have to rip the carpets up that she saved so hard to buy and throw them in the skip. I feel like a criminal and so heartless for throwing her memories away. I will keep as much as I can. I am only glad she can’t see me doing it.
Hmm I know the feeling, mum worked hard for her money and had an axminster carpet laid which cost a small fortune, of course it won't be of any use to me or likely to the new occupants either. It is just utterly horrible and sadning. Mum had kept all of her cards over the years, but I decided not to keep them as there was so much other stuff that in many ways had more meaning, especially photographs from great great grandparents through to almost present day.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
553
I feel just the same at the moment, we've just started sorting out mums home ready to rent it out. Trying to decide which piles O put things in was tough ( take to mum in care home, store for future use, keep for grandchildren to inherit, charity shop or throw away). I was quite ruthless but my two siblings considered every object and wanted to keep everything! But as I'm storing things in my spare bedroom, I wanted the throw away and charity shop piles to be larger!

I reckon we are going to need a few more visits to empty the house. There is a garage with aspestos in the walls which needs a specialist company and none of us wants to go in it to sort out the junk!
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
Was going through some of the reams of paperwork yesterday. Found a Valentine's card from my mother (who died in 2008) and another he'd sent her. They're in the "keep" pile. Going back next week with my wife and mother-in-law, who don't have the emotional attachment and will go through the place like a fire.

Retrieved a box of old paperwork relating to my grandfather's tax returns - I have enough trouble doing mine online - in those days it was all letters to the tax man. Seems a bit odd keeping them as they're pretty boring...

Got countless photographs that need sorting - no point in keeping them all.
 

Primrose19

Registered User
Nov 27, 2016
63
Totally agree, I’m sure it is much worse when the person is still alive. Tons of photos of holidays, lots of knick-knacks that were always there, loads of cards and every drawing her grand-daughter had ever produced.
 

Champers

Registered User
Jan 3, 2019
234
I’m afraid in the end, I took the coward’s way out. We lost both Mother and MIL this year so had two houses to clear out and as we’re both only children, it fell squarely on our shoulders. In the end I persuaded OH that by the time we hired skips and did innumerable trips to the tip (that’s assuming they were even open!) we might as well pay a registered house clearance company. I can’t tell you what a relief it was.

My mother, particularly, had been a secret hoarder. Things looked ok on the surface but as soon as you opened cupboards or drawers things had been stuffed inside other things and I found I was spending far too much time checking inside everything “Just in case” I took the view in the end that if I didn’t know about it, it didn’t matter. We knew all her affairs were in order as OH had been looking after that side of things for years so having someone anonymous dealing and disposing of the emotional stuff was a massive weight of my mind. One thing that became apparent - before calling in house clearance - was that clearly Mother had been going down hill for longer than I realised. She had been hiding all sorts of strange things in strange places and keeping torn out irrelevant newspaper articles from 15 years ago!
 

blueorchid

Registered User
Feb 18, 2016
49
Gosh I'm glad I came across this thread. We're going to be clearing my parents house in a few weeks and I'm dreading it. I'm terribly sentimental and I can identify with so much that has been written above. And it does feel so disloyal especially as Mum is still alive. Doesn't it make you think about your own homes too?
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
553
Ive just spent several hours over the past three evenings going through bin bags of paperwork and shredding most of it! We have been using our LPA to look after the finances for a couple of years so had up to date information on bills, savings etc. I've saved all family history type things including the papers from the family house over 60 years ago and all birth, marriage or death certificates.

I was hoping to find my dads diaries, he wrote entries daily especially when on holiday but there weren't any, he died 28 years ago so goodness knows where mum put them.

I'm one of four children and my mother had kept school reports for my younger siblings but none for me or my older sister - no logic there! It's a good job I love all my siblings other wise I might have been upset by the favouritism!

I was hoping to find some hidden cash especially when I spotted that mum withdrew £1,600 in six weeks in 2017, just before we registered the LPA with the bank and began overseeing the accounts. As she was only going out with one of us and not doing any shopping on her own, goodness knows what she did with it! She must have withdrawn huge amounts over the months - I did not have the will to read all the statements!
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,758
Nottinghamshire
Hi @blueorchid . I had to clear my dad's bungalow over 18 months ago now. I'm a sentimental soul too and I've only just managed to sort out enough of his and mum's stuff to be able to get into my front room again! I still have to get rid of more...but not just yet. My ambition is to have it all sorted out by this time next year 🙄.

And yes - it has made me think about my own house 😬
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
So glad I have the LPA but despite wading through vast amounts of documents, I have been unable to find his will or the deeds to his house, which needs to be sold. He can't remember which solicitor he used (of course) and I'm fed up of spending my entire life trying to sort out his damn stuff.

Lost my temper with him just now so have abandoned him downstairs whilst I cool down a bit.
 

blueorchid

Registered User
Feb 18, 2016
49
So glad I have the LPA but despite wading through vast amounts of documents, I have been unable to find his will or the deeds to his house, which needs to be sold. He can't remember which solicitor he used (of course) and I'm fed up of spending my entire life trying to sort out his damn stuff.

Lost my temper with him just now so have abandoned him downstairs whilst I cool down a bit.
Could you go on rightmove and see which estate agent he used and try and track down the solicitor that way? It would only help if the house was on the market in the last 10years (ish). Long shot but might help.
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
80
The deeds may be with the bank if he ever had a mortgage on the property. When mortgages are repaid it’s not automatic that deeds are physically returned so they could be sat with the bank that last had security on the property. If no luck there the land registry have a very helpful team. You can google their number. Their records will show when the charge was released so that may give you a guide on dates and which bank/solicitor to try.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,396
South coast
If the property is registered with the land registry you dont actually need the deeds. In fact, they dont actually issue deeds any more when you finish paying the mortgage.

I discovered this when selling mums home. When I said I couldnt find the deeds he told me this. Unfortunately, I then discovered that mum had lived in her home for so long with no mortgage that she wasnt registered with the land registry 😮. I eventually found the deeds shoved right behind the chest of drawers in the bedroom. Obviously put away safely 🙄.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
Property is unregistered. Estate agent isn't too concerned - there's a process to register a property without deeds, just glad I didn't burn all the paperwork I'd thought was unnecessary