Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

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miamivice
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Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by miamivice » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:14 am

(Mod note - this is both personal and actionable. For privacy, I am not disclosing how I will use the information in this thread, but it is highly relevant to me at the moment.)

Has anyone inherited something that is a burden, responsibility, or an obligation? Did you enjoy this thing? Was the obligation spread equally among your siblings, or did the bulk of the responsibility fall on your shoulders?

Possible examples might include:

- family heirlooms that are intended to be handed down generations, thus, one has an obligation to store them until the next generation is ready to accept them
- timeshares
- real estate
- vacation rentals (esp ones that the deceased have decided should be shared among children for x number of years.)

For those who are willing, I would be interested in hearing your experience.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:22 am

Not me, but my dad and his 4 siblings inherited Florida property upon the passing of my grandmother. The siblings simply wanted money out of the property and refused to believe that it wasn't a gold mine of huge value. My dad did his diligence, attempting to sell the building lots. The HOA wanted him to volunteer to pay extra because of some upgrades they were doing to the development. After about a year of working with real estate agents and the HOA, he came to the conclusion that these lots were worthless and sold them to the HOA for $1. The siblings were, of course unhappy and he offered the lots to them for free, if they would take ownership. Since none of them were willing to put in even one minute of work, aside from complaining that they were getting screwed, the lots were sold.
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renue74
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by renue74 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:26 am

I find the more "cooks in the kitchen," the more difficult any burden/obligation is.

My inlaws were among 6 heirs to some acreage and 2 homes on the property....I think in all it was about 45 acres and 2 homes.

Trying to decide what to do with the property took many, many months and many debates.

I'm not sure if it's ever easy to do and I will be following this thread to hear of some solutions (hopefully).

cshell2
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by cshell2 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:28 am

Unless the parents do decide to unload them before passing (doubtful), I'm set to inherit 2 timeshares which will be split between myself and two siblings. One of my brothers will appreciate and want this. I doubt the other will want them. I'm perfectly happy just letting first brother have my share and walking away. I don't want to be responsible for a third of the maintenance costs and I'd probably rarely ever use them.

bberris
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by bberris » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:41 am

cshell2 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:28 am
Unless the parents do decide to unload them before passing (doubtful), I'm set to inherit 2 timeshares which will be split between myself and two siblings. One of my brothers will appreciate and want this. I doubt the other will want them. I'm perfectly happy just letting first brother have my share and walking away. I don't want to be responsible for a third of the maintenance costs and I'd probably rarely ever use them.
You can always refuse an inheritance. If you refuse, the property goes to the intestate heirs, I believe. So it would be smoother if the will just specifies who gets what. If you accept the timeshare and give it away, it would go against your gift tax exemption. But most timeshares are worthless anyway.

You don't inherit debts, unless you agree to it or cosigned.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:45 am

Not me - but I'd be interested to hear about peoples experiences here especially with timeshares (which can be a burden to pay for). With something like a timeshare - I assume you can just refuse inheriting the obligation.
I did have a relative that was set to inherit a house - when he went and saw the horrible condition of the house and learned it had a large reverse mortgage on it he walked away as he calculated it would likely cost more to fix and pay-off than what he could get for it. Reverse mortgage was higher than what the land was worth - and the house had been neglected for decades.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:11 am

Just say no. (Decline the bequest). Problem solved.

Note to those writing wills: please do not bequeath indivisible assets to more than one person.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:29 am

I would refuse to accept a burden that I thought was unreasonable, which would include time shares. I would sell real estate. I would not hold onto something because someone no longer living wanted me to. That includes Aunt Tillie's diamond brooch as well as Grandpa Jack's apple orchard.

I enjoy watching the Fox Business show Strange Inheritance, and am glad nothing I inherit will rate a mention on the show. The collection of 50,000 autographed 8x10 color glossy photos of celebrities was both depressing (because it really happened) and amusing (because it didn't/won't happen to me.) Same with the 250,000 arrowheads.

RadAudit
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by RadAudit » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:37 am

Not me. DW's friends may have had / are having this problem.

First friend had a joint inheritance of a piece of property. One wanted to sell and split the proceeds. The other had concerns that kept popping up that in effect stopped / precluded the sale. Has been on-going for years.

Second friend was a joint heir of a piece of property with a number of folks. Definitely more than two although I don't remember the number. It took years to get the necessary agreements and signatures to make the sale and split the proceeds.
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22twain
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by 22twain » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:56 am

My mother's father, an immigrant from a certain country, built a small cottage in a lakeside colony founded by a group of fellow immigrants from that country. During the '50s and '60s, the families of his two daughters took turns using the cottage and maintained it. When he died, the cottage passed to my mother. By that time, the four grandchildren (including me) were growing up. The grandkids and their parents ended up scattering to different parts of the country for college and work, or retirement, respectively. None of us wanted to own the cottage long-distance.

However, my mother couldn't easily sell it because the association's bylaws restricted ownership to immigrants from my grandfather's country, and their descendants. This is a small country, so the pool of prospective buyers was very small, not like e.g. Italian-Americans.

For about 15 years, my parents managed a workaround. They made an informal arrangement with one of my father's brothers (not a member of that immigrant group) and his wife, who used the cottage regularly and maintained it. They didn't pay rent (the association's bylaws probably forbade rentals), but they gave my parents enough money to cover utilities and taxes, which my mother paid. The association apparently tolerated this arrangement because of the "in-law" family relationship. I don't think my parents would have been able to do this with one of their friends.

Eventually, around the time my uncle died, my mother did manage to sell the cottage to the son of one of her friends in that immigrant group. He had made his career in the area instead of moving away, and finally decided he wanted a place on the lake.

A few years later, the restriction on ownership was invalidated under the laws related to equal opportunity in housing. This was about thirty years ago, but as far as I know the colony is still dominated by those immigrants' grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
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jminv
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by jminv » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:23 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:14 am
(Mod note - this is both personal and actionable. For privacy, I am not disclosing how I will use the information in this thread, but it is highly relevant to me at the moment.)

Has anyone inherited something that is a burden, responsibility, or an obligation? Did you enjoy this thing? Was the obligation spread equally among your siblings, or did the bulk of the responsibility fall on your shoulders?

Possible examples might include:

- family heirlooms that are intended to be handed down generations, thus, one has an obligation to store them until the next generation is ready to accept them
- timeshares
- real estate
- vacation rentals (esp ones that the deceased have decided should be shared among children for x number of years.)

For those who are willing, I would be interested in hearing your experience.
My wife's friend's mother, along with several other relatives, inherited a home, which was not in the USA. Except for this woman, the other relatives lived in this other country. The relatives could not reach an agreement on what to do with the property. The younger half of them wanted to sell it but the other older half wanted to use it as a family summer/weekend country get away home, which is common in this country. Of course the half that did not want to sell also did not want to buy out the other family members. Unfortunately for everyone, no one would budge and the house became one of those stuck in time houses that you read about in the news and is due to the way that inheritance laws work in this particular country. These rules also require that you pay for the upkeep of the property while this dispute is ongoing, else you lose your interest in it (although you cannot use the property while the dispute is unresolved, it is just to keep it from falling down). This went on for around 20 years and cost everyone involved a lot of money while no one could enjoy the home. The house was finally sold because the older half of the relatives, who wanted to keep the house, died and their descendants were fine with selling. It cost everyone involved a lot of money over the 20 years and significantly decreased the value of the home (no updates, clear that no one has lived there in decades, repairs were bare minimum to keep it from falling down). Everyone involved would have been better off walking away from the home but instead dug in their heels. If it had been me, I would have walked away from it, even if it meant the other side 'won'.

I have family heirlooms, but they are no difficulty for me. They are also not large and they have been in the family for generations. They are my sole responsibility.

JediMisty
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by JediMisty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:38 am

My Dad made me "remainderman" on his POS trailer and land in the middle of nowhere in Florida. His awful widow and one of her several children have life estates on the property. There will be a hassle to actually acquire the property. His widow filed a fake deed three weeks after my Dad's death in 2016 (the fake deed pre-dated to before my Dad deeded the property to me.) For good reasons he felt he owed me this property and proudly showed me around on one of my few visits, "This will be all yours some day" he said beaming. He bought the property in the 80s and there isn't a great clearness to the title as he was paying an individual who never filed that the payments were all made. Attempts to get the original seller to sign :annoyed that it was paid for were futile when she was contacted by the lawyer I hired. Then there will be the inevitable struggle when my Dad's widow and step-son pass and her family members try to take it. I was originally keen on making sure I got it even if I had to spend money on lawyers and to clear the wreck of a trailer off of it. My sister originally had no interest in it and realized that my Dad helped her financially whereas I sent him cash from time to time and was fine with my getting it. Now that she and her husband are in even worse shape than they were and she took SS at 62, she has already hinted she would like me to give it to her. Sigh. I expect that by the time both of my Dad's second family members pass, I'll be be much older and I would fix up the place to leave it to my son, who is my Dad's only grandchild. As the two folks with a life estate are still alive, I've postponed the decision for now. I think this qualifies in your category. :annoyed :oops:

Thegame14
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:49 am

when my grandmother passed away, my dad and his sister inherited her condo in florida, which apparently there are a lot of and little demand, and we live in NJ so not easy to see what shape it is in. They just kept lowering the price until it eventually sold for like $60K

Quaestner
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Quaestner » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:52 am

This is tough. Since want our heirs to honor our wishes, we should be mindful of honoring the responsibilities we inherit. That said, we can see that some of these responsibilities cause headaches and heartaches. So, I think that we should strive to not guilt trip our heirs - via wills or otherwise. People are entitled to have their own priorities over "stuff". Plus, family culture is fluid. I realize what I'm advising isn't helpful to the situation in question, but we can make things easier for our heirs by having early candid conversations about inheritance and an understanding that different people can value things and traditions very differently. I don't want my kids burdened by my attachment to family heirlooms. It's my issue, not theirs.

The Washington Post has an article "How to divvy up the inheritance — and keep the family together" that might be worth looking at. It includes the idea of family members using an auction (with play money) as an aide to letting heirs prioritize their wants. Maybe something like this could be done to alleviate some of what people are going through?

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FGal
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FGal » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 pm

The family relation is gone. No matter what your belief system is - you have to realize they never would have intended to hurt you or your future or create such a burdensome situation if they were still alive and were in possession of all the ability to remove the emotional aspects of the bequest and logically/practically see the consequences.

So what I did/suggest:

Nothing offered has to be accepted. If it is something with so many strings attached it looks like a tangled up ball... say thanks but no thanks and pass it on to the next in line to deal with if they choose. You don't have to take it at all.

If it is something freely given with just the suggestion that "this is what grandma/great uncle Herbert/generations of our family" would have wanted... keep in mind that old doesn't mean valuable. And valuable doesn't mean "have to keep it even if it's a burden and I have no need/use/want for it." Being in a family for generations is lovely in theory, but if you plain old hate it, or it's not and never will be useful, or if it needs to be passed down just because... No, it doesn't. It really doesn't. You get to decide. Again, your relative is gone. They left it to you with suggestions of what they'd LIKE you to do, but no one is making you do so. You could have no kids to pass something on to, your kids may HATE item and dump it the instant they get it, you may end up costing yourself more time/money than this thing ever could be worth in the long run based off of nostalgia/history. No one should martyr themselves to be caretakers of any familial white elephants.


TL/DR: In the end, any inheritance is a gift. So do what you'd do with any gift. Thank the giver sincerely and gratefully for considering you worthy of any gift, use the gift if it brings you happiness or provides something you needed in your life, and if it does none of these things... you are free to pass it along to someone else that may value it and appreciate it.

So either you/your immediate family enjoys and uses said thing now, or you pass it on to someone who will, making you a good custodian of said item/property because you found it a home where it will be wanted/appreciated.

Not being able to gain use of or passing along a gift that you find burdensome is NOT being ungrateful; appreciate the sentiment in which it was given but separate it from the gift itself. You wouldn't keep a pair of shoes that hurt your feet and wear them all the time just because your MIL bought them for you? Scale it up, and you have your answer.
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Carefreeap
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Carefreeap » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:29 pm

My mother died in 2008 nearly $400k in debt; about $300k upside down on her home, $60k in cc debt $40k in unpaid Federal taxes. It took a while but I was able to clean it up, working with her home lender, told the ccs they wouldn't get paid and the Fed debt was so old that it actually expired while I was settling the estate. I sold her home in 2017 and grossed about $300k in profit.

I'm likely going to have to support my dad if he goes into a retirement home. My parents divorced in 1996 after filing BK.

My brother won't be contributing anything financially as he seems to have as many money problems as my parents.

It's not a fun position to be in.

ETA: DH's father left him his house but encumbered with a life estate for FIL's 3rd wife. In his will FIL wanted DH to support the 3rd wife. :oops: Fortunately those kinds of demands are not enforceable. Also fortunately there was a loan on the house (from DH's grandmother's Trust) and 3rd wife couldn't afford the house + the condo DH's father bought for her (also using some assets from the Trust). She wound up signing a quitclaim deed in lieu of a foreclosure action.

DH's mother is no longer speaking to DH because he won't agree to be the Trustee for her estate to allow her caregiver to live in her house so she can take care of MIL's dogs.

I'm not making these stories up. Parents can be really cruel.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by aristotelian » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:38 pm

Father in law just died on Monday. Complexity of his estate is way out of proportion to his net worth. Among the investments is a rental that is owned by an LLC in partnership with his wife. The property manager says the place needs a new roof and tenants are having trouble paying rent. Now she is faced with a decision on whether to invest $10K cash (from a pretty small estate) into a property with questionable tenants, with no landlording experience or knowledge of the business model.

shorty313
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by shorty313 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 pm

My mother had trouble with my uncle splitting my grandparents two homes when they passed (more on my uncles end, my mom just wanted to be done with it and not ruin the relationship). Seeing how that went down, my parents have set up their will so that my brother and I can't argue too much when they pass, with a total of 3 properties (this can obviously change before then). One is to be sold and proceeds split. For the other two, we each get right of first refusal on one (the one we are each 'assigned' makes sense with our locations/interests). There is to be an independent appraisal on each, then have 6 months to decide to keep or sell each of them. If the $$ isn't even, one sibling will pay the difference to the other based on the appraisal/selling price, which ever is relevant to the situation. We are both aware of this, and neither of us plans to be a pain about it. My husband and I keep that in the back of our minds...we might have a small mortgage in 10-20 years, as right now, 'my' property is the more valuable and I'll owe my brother some cash.

ETA: there are also some small possessions that are spelled out who they go to, so there's no fighting about that either. Anyone know what do to with unwanted furs??? :?

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by KlangFool » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:55 pm

OP,

It is very simple.

I refused to accept my share and give it to whoever wants it.

KlangFool

Shallowpockets
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:06 pm

Jim Gaffigan on gifts.

Oh, a gift. So nice.

If you don't like it you can take it back.

Nah, I'll just throw it away.

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celia
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by celia » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:10 pm

I would consider a pet, family business, or farm with live animals/crops to be a responsibility/liability.

So would be a vehicle, aircraft, or sailing vessel you don’t plan to use. You still have to insure it and protect yourself from liability.

blackburnian
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by blackburnian » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:17 pm

Very timely thread. I have inherited a large number of family heirlooms, papers, and photos, many of which have considerable historical value. I've just moved into a larger apt. and moved the boxes in with me (from a storage unit) so that I will be forced to do something with them. My sibling and I have no children, so we are trying to find archives to donate them to. It will be one of my retirement projects. It does feel like a burden sometimes.

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alpenglow
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by alpenglow » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:20 pm

I greatly fear these situations on both sides of my family. My sister and I are estranged and my in-laws apparently have no will with most "assets" in tchotchkes. My wife and I have both agreed to not do this to our children. I really feel for people that get caught in these types of situations. :(

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sergeant
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by sergeant » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:31 pm

Dad left me and 2 sisters a POS trailer on rented land. His DW lived in it for another couple years after his death. She died and my 2 sisters wanted to cash in. Trailer wasn't worth anything. Some relative of the DW has been living in it for several years. There was no way I was going to accept something with no value!

I inherited a bunch of antique silverware and kept it in my garage for a few years. I didn't want to store it anymore so gave it to my sisters. They will probably pass it on to their kids or sell it.

MIL has a timeshare they paid 60k for with 5k a year maintenance costs. We use the timeshare all the time and really enjoy it. I will not accept it as inheritance as MIL wants us to share it with my DW's deadbeat siblings. Timeshare true value is about 6k per resell market.
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tadamsmar
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:49 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:14 am
(Mod note - this is both personal and actionable. For privacy, I am not disclosing how I will use the information in this thread, but it is highly relevant to me at the moment.)

Has anyone inherited something that is a burden, responsibility, or an obligation? Did you enjoy this thing? Was the obligation spread equally among your siblings, or did the bulk of the responsibility fall on your shoulders?

Possible examples might include:

- family heirlooms that are intended to be handed down generations, thus, one has an obligation to store them until the next generation is ready to accept them
- timeshares
- real estate
- vacation rentals (esp ones that the deceased have decided should be shared among children for x number of years.)

For those who are willing, I would be interested in hearing your experience.
I don't think you are talking about a legal responsibility. If you are the owner then you can do whatever you want.

The ownership is somewhat vague in your post. The deceased wanted the children to share a rental for x years, but who is the owner?

If real estate is jointly inherited then it is jointly owned. Each part-owner has a legal right to get out of this arrangement. They can go to court and force the other owners to allow some fair financial transaction that gets them out, like sale, division (if possible), or buyout.

I inherited a farm with my brother. Years before I inherited it, I spent a paid hour with a lawyer and learned (among other things) that I had a legal right to get out of the situation. I just casually mentioned this to my brother. He gave me a look but nothing more. I think that set the stage for what happened years later. A situation arose where I could sell my half at a premium. My brother and I worked out an amicable division. But this was after 10 years or more of joint ownership.

I have noticed that family fight and stress about this stuff be no one bothers to find out their rights and state them to the other parties. I am all for determining your rights and informing others of your rights in a non-threatening manner ASAP.

I am finding that the next generation shows no interest in the heirlooms. All the heirlooms that we have fit in our home.

Basically, you have to either accommodate people or assert your rights. You choose. Having to choose is your only real burden.

If you assert your rights then the result will be fair even though the relatives might not realize it. If you accommodate someone, then you are going to have to figure out if that is fair to all.

No experience with timeshares.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Gnirk » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:36 pm

I've read too many horror stories regarding inheritances of real estate by multiple heirs, none of whom can agree on selling the property. The best course of action is for the owners to sell the property before they pass away. But I'm sure that isn't possible in many cases, for many reasons.

Case in point: My daughters' stepmother and her sister inherited their father's house. Neither needs, or wants, the house to live in as they each have their own homes. Stepmother's sister really needs the money from the sale of the house, she makes her living as a caregiver, and caregivers are not well-paid in her area. She has told her sister she needs the money but is also a shy person who would never sue to have the home sold.

The stepmother is very well-to-do (because of her husband) and refuses to sell the house, rent it, or remove anything from it, because of "sentimental" reasons. It is the house they grew up in, and she insists that it remain a shrine to her deceased parents. I'm sure their father never envisioned this scenario.

I hope to divest myself of all real-estate holdings, and rent at some point to simplify my estate.

As for heirlooms, just store them or use them until they are to be passed on. I inherited quite a few pieces that belonged to great-granparents and grand-parents that mean something to me because I knew them, and have mixed them in with my decor. I have told my children they do not have to keep them when they inherit them; they can sell them or give them away. I don't want to burden them with the guilt of having to keep something they don't care for.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by ladycat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:35 pm

shorty313 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 pm

ETA: there are also some small possessions that are spelled out who they go to, so there's no fighting about that either. Anyone know what do to with unwanted furs??? :?
Contact bornfreeusa.org and ask if they accept furs or know of an organization that does. Furs make comfy blankets for rescued wildlife.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:52 pm

Gnirk wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:36 pm
I've read too many horror stories regarding inheritances of real estate by multiple heirs, none of whom can agree on selling the property. The best course of action is for the owners to sell the property before they pass away. But I'm sure that isn't possible in many cases, for many reasons.
The best is perhaps that the executor sells the property.

Some real estate is subject to capital gains. And it would be hard for a elderly person to choose to sell their personal home.

If you inherit jointly, you have the right to get out of the arrangement.

But I think a lot of people are so unassertive that they feel it is a horror story to merely assert their rights.

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Tamarind
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Tamarind » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:08 pm

I watched my in-laws successfully resolve an inheritance of a working beef ranch. Luckily the caretaker of the property was about to retire within the year and no one else was available to take over. Though they do not normally get along, all the siblings were willing to admit they did not want to move there and become ranchers. The land was sold and proceeds evenly divided.

I am nicely but firmly turning down all "wouldn't you like to have this one day"s from parents and grandparents. I successfully redirected my grandmother's china and silver (boxes and boxes of the stuff), which were earmarked for the eldest (me) to a second cousin who actually loves china. Although it's been sad and nostalgic, I encouraged my parents when they decided to sell the house and land I grew up on. Closing is coming up soon. I will miss the place but I did not want to own it and they can do better with the money. Added bonus, it required my mother to go through her many heirlooms and keepsakes now as they downsize to an apartment. She has kept only the things she really loves, which I think is good for her and many years from now will also be good for me.

I'm in the camp that says you should never make a bequest of something you don't want to see sold, unless you have arranged with that person well in advance.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:31 pm

Fortunately my father already sold the RV. :P

The only major responsibility, which isn't that big, will be a collection of WWII items my grandfather captured from the Nazis. They're very interesting and family heirlooms but also not the sort of thing you can put on display without people getting a very wrong impression. :shock:

One of them is of major historical interest and for years the family has been talking about lending them to a museum and I imagine that task will finally fall to me at some point. Without going into too much detail, a movie was made about the place where this item was captured, which Eisenhower called a major advance in the battle on the western front.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by THY4373 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:14 pm

blackburnian wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:17 pm
My sibling and I have no children, so we are trying to find archives to donate them to. It will be one of my retirement projects. It does feel like a burden sometimes.
Honestly unless they have major historical value you are probably better off selling them to a collector assuming they have any financial value. I have had involvement with multiple small museums, historical societies and the like and the are overwhelmed with stuff donated and underfunded because folks never leave them money only stuff. I remenber one place whose SOP for family Bible's was rip out the pages with genealogical information and trash the Bible because they had no place to store them. Another place lost 1000s of paper documents to rodent damage. A collector who pays for something at least is incentivized to maintain it. Or maybe try to find a distant relative who is interested.
Last edited by THY4373 on Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FoolStreet
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:15 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:11 am

Note to those writing wills: please do not bequeath indivisible assets to more than one person.
According to "Beyond the Grave," it is better to leave indivisible assets to all siblings in fact, but realistically siblings will sell after you pass.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:16 pm

cshell2 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:28 am
Unless the parents do decide to unload them before passing (doubtful), I'm set to inherit 2 timeshares which will be split between myself and two siblings. One of my brothers will appreciate and want this. I doubt the other will want them. I'm perfectly happy just letting first brother have my share and walking away. I don't want to be responsible for a third of the maintenance costs and I'd probably rarely ever use them.
Go to redweek.com and see how much it costs to rent the week and compare that to the annual cost.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm

Carefreeap wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:29 pm
My mother died in 2008 nearly $400k in debt; about $300k upside down on her home, $60k in cc debt $40k in unpaid Federal taxes. It took a while but I was able to clean it up, working with her home lender, told the ccs they wouldn't get paid and the Fed debt was so old that it actually expired while I was settling the estate. I sold her home in 2017 and grossed about $300k in profit.

I'm likely going to have to support my dad if he goes into a retirement home. My parents divorced in 1996 after filing BK.

My brother won't be contributing anything financially as he seems to have as many money problems as my parents.

It's not a fun position to be in.

ETA: DH's father left him his house but encumbered with a life estate for FIL's 3rd wife. In his will FIL wanted DH to support the 3rd wife. :oops: Fortunately those kinds of demands are not enforceable. Also fortunately there was a loan on the house (from DH's grandmother's Trust) and 3rd wife couldn't afford the house + the condo DH's father bought for her (also using some assets from the Trust). She wound up signing a quitclaim deed in lieu of a foreclosure action.

DH's mother is no longer speaking to DH because he won't agree to be the Trustee for her estate to allow her caregiver to live in her house so she can take care of MIL's dogs.

I'm not making these stories up. Parents can be really cruel.
My favorite anti-story from "Beyond the Grave," was the trust-fund dog who lived to 80 in human years. lol

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:26 pm

blackburnian wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:17 pm
Very timely thread. I have inherited a large number of family heirlooms, papers, and photos, many of which have considerable historical value. I've just moved into a larger apt. and moved the boxes in with me (from a storage unit) so that I will be forced to do something with them. My sibling and I have no children, so we are trying to find archives to donate them to. It will be one of my retirement projects. It does feel like a burden sometimes.
At least it sounds like a valuable project, assuming the historical value warrants receipt by the archive, because at least someone will receive some value t is worse when the moments truly have no value at all despite having been treasured by the family. At least get donation receipts for your taxes.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:28 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:38 pm
Father in law just died on Monday. Complexity of his estate is way out of proportion to his net worth. Among the investments is a rental that is owned by an LLC in partnership with his wife. The property manager says the place needs a new roof and tenants are having trouble paying rent. Now she is faced with a decision on whether to invest $10K cash (from a pretty small estate) into a property with questionable tenants, with no landlording experience or knowledge of the business model.
Kick the can. Spend 2-500 on a handyman and a bucket and mop the roof with tar where needed. Reevaluate in a year. Maybe the tenants will leave by then.

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Watty
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by Watty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:42 pm

There was a post a while back that went something like;

1) Retired couple has elderly mom move in with them. (Wife's Mom?)

2) Wife dies, leaving husband living with mother in law but she basically has a separate apartment so that worked OK.

3) Husband remarries so new wife is living with late wifes mother in law.

4) Husband dies so second wife is living with first wife's mother.

As I recall the first wife's mother was moved into assisted living and they could afford it but there was no one else to look after her so the second wife still handled her affairs and would check in on her occasionally for a few years until she died.

It sounded like all things considered it worked out OK but it did get complicated.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by delamer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm

We’ve taken a few boxes of knickknacks/heirlooms from my husband’s parents that we don’t want but don’t take up much room. They will be donated/sold/discarded as soon as my in-laws die. We’ve made no promises about handing them down to our kids.

We have refused other items that take up too much room. Living at a distance helps because it is too costly to ship larger items.

I am afraid that we’ll inherit their previous home, which they have not priced low enough to get sold. Fortunately, my husband and his siblings would lower the price until it sold so I don’t expect any intra-family tension about it.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by camden » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:09 pm

When my father died, my brother and I inherited several condos which were rented at the time. Could have been a major pain for me except for the fact that he and I were in full agreement that neither of us wanted to have any part of being a landlord. We sold them as fast as we could and divided the proceeds.

Not a lawyer, but I believe that you can always refuse an inheritance, so long as it is done within a certain timeframe; you just cannot direct what happens to said inheritance after you disclaim it,

Sure that there are certain special situations which would argue otherwise, but what I have read and seen through the experience of others leads me to believe that one should direct the executor of ones estate to sell all real estate and distribute the proceeds. Leaving divided interest in real estate is an invitation to chaos and hostility among the heirs.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by ChrisC » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:40 pm

I inherited a valuable building with my siblings in which the burdens of responsibility have all essentially fallen on me. It's been a major pain for me, but I recognzie that my siblings are incapable of managing this on their own or would likely have major problems handling it, even though I'm in NC, the building in NYC, and my siblings in NYC and Long Island. We all have sentimental attachments to the property and one of my siblings lives in one of the apartment units in the building! It grates on me (and my wife) a lot that I had to manage major renovations from afar, do all the accounting and tax work with my accountant, and generally handle major repair issues as they come up. I also had to invest in the building from my own personal funds to renovate an apartment in the building when we first inherited the building, in which my mother had a life estate in the building. When my mother passed away last year and with daunting major renovation work looming, I made a push to have us sell the property; much to my surprise, my siblings all agreed without any objection, as I think they realized that each of them would get a sizeable sum of money from the sale. My goal was to eliminate property management obligations that might fall on my children and to prevent any entanglements with their cousins, when my generation passed.

We've also been concerned about managing our timeshare interests and not burdening our children with them. Our children, as young children and now as adults, have benefited from the use of our timeshares over the years, including family vacations, get-aways, and honeymoon trips. Nonetheless, they have shown little interest in managing our timeshare interests, particularly planning stays or understanding the maintenance fee obligations associated with these interests. Our timeshares have some marketable value and thus we could liquidate the interests and jetison maintenance fee obligations. We'd like to keep them for a number of additional years, especially since our grandchildren are likely to have great vacations with us in the future. Some timeshare owners, with marketable interests, have placed their timeshare interests in revocable trusts to be used by family members, others have transferred the interests to their children, and others have simply transferred/sold them. We are leaning towards selling one of our interests (a beachfront week we've had for 17 years), after we get good use a few more years with our grandchildren, and placing the other timeshare interests (mainly Marriott Vacation Club Points) in our revocable living trust, with directions for Trust funds to be set aside to be used to pay maintenance fees -- our children can later figure out if they want to keep these timeshare interests or get rid of them -- meanwhile if they keep them, they can enjoy use of them without paying maintenance fees.

We have other more important obligations that we've inherited over the years, including care of elderly parents and disabled family members; I agree with the assessment made by someone else in this thread: the financial aspects for those obligations are so much easier than the physical, mental, and emotional care aspects of those situations. Unlike property you inherit, which you can renounce, you can't really renounce family.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by sleepwell » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:05 pm

I find this topic to be of huge interest as I have been the one in my extended family designated to take charge of bits of family history. I don't view these items as a burden but I don't want to leave them for my kids to sort through, either. I have postcards and letters which my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWI. I have my grandmother's HS diploma which is over 100 years old and other similar documents. I have baptismal dresses which belonged to my aunts (who are now deceased) and two of my mother's baby dresses which are probably 95 years old. Of course there are old books, old china, old glassware, photos, etc.

While I am not concerned with the old china and glassware, does anyone have suggestions on what to do with some of the other items? I don't know that my adult children want them but I hate to toss things like the diplomas and baptismal records.

Thanks.

Sleepwell

PoppyA
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by PoppyA » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:48 pm

Take photos of personal property, then donate.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by celia » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:21 pm

shorty313 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 pm
Anyone know what do to with unwanted furs??? :?
Possibly a theatrical group could use them. Or the agency/company they rent costumes from might be interested in buying them at the ‘right’ price.

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FIREchief
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FIREchief » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:00 pm

Timeshares: I've read that the only free/easy way to get out of a timeshare is to die. If somebody tried to leave one to me, the decision would be easy.

Real Estate: I would avoid it by any/all means necessary such as selling my share for 50 cents on the dollar to the other heirs or perhaps donating my share to charity (not sure if this is even possible). It might motivate the other heirs to sell if they learned that their new co-owner is going to be the local homeless shelter.

Sorry to hear of the situations some of you have inherited. Hopefully these threads are a wake up call to Bogleheads to simplify your estates while you're still living and breathing. If it would take you a year or two to unwind everything you have going, how long do you think it will take your heirs?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by KT785 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:45 pm

sleepwell wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:05 pm
I don't know that my adult children want them but I hate to toss things like the diplomas and baptismal records.
If the related school and churches are still in operation, they might be willing to accept those items.

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FIREchief
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by FIREchief » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:29 am

sleepwell wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:05 pm
I find this topic to be of huge interest as I have been the one in my extended family designated to take charge of bits of family history. I don't view these items as a burden but I don't want to leave them for my kids to sort through, either. I have postcards and letters which my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWI. I have my grandmother's HS diploma which is over 100 years old and other similar documents. I have baptismal dresses which belonged to my aunts (who are now deceased) and two of my mother's baby dresses which are probably 95 years old. Of course there are old books, old china, old glassware, photos, etc.

While I am not concerned with the old china and glassware, does anyone have suggestions on what to do with some of the other items? I don't know that my adult children want them but I hate to toss things like the diplomas and baptismal records.

Thanks.

Sleepwell
I'll place the first vote for "toss them." Granted, I may not be the most sentimental guy, but those things will eventually be tossed and it's just a matter of when. I'm sure I have my own high school and college diplomas somewhere, but they may be tossed in the next iteration of decluttering. Sure, I worked really hard for four years for that college STEM degree. Does that paper bring me any joy/pleasure/happiness? Or, just PTSD? At the end of the day, there just isn't much of this kind of "stuff" that will ever be used for anything.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

delamer
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by delamer » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:20 am

FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:29 am
sleepwell wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:05 pm
I find this topic to be of huge interest as I have been the one in my extended family designated to take charge of bits of family history. I don't view these items as a burden but I don't want to leave them for my kids to sort through, either. I have postcards and letters which my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWI. I have my grandmother's HS diploma which is over 100 years old and other similar documents. I have baptismal dresses which belonged to my aunts (who are now deceased) and two of my mother's baby dresses which are probably 95 years old. Of course there are old books, old china, old glassware, photos, etc.

While I am not concerned with the old china and glassware, does anyone have suggestions on what to do with some of the other items? I don't know that my adult children want them but I hate to toss things like the diplomas and baptismal records.

Thanks.

Sleepwell
I'll place the first vote for "toss them." Granted, I may not be the most sentimental guy, but those things will eventually be tossed and it's just a matter of when. I'm sure I have my own high school and college diplomas somewhere, but they may be tossed in the next iteration of decluttering. Sure, I worked really hard for four years for that college STEM degree. Does that paper bring me any joy/pleasure/happiness? Or, just PTSD? At the end of the day, there just isn't much of this kind of "stuff" that will ever be used for anything.
If I am at all on the fence about tossing something , the first question that I ask myself is “Is there any chance my kids will want these?”

And the answer is always no.

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:42 am

delamer wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:20 am
FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:29 am
sleepwell wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:05 pm
I find this topic to be of huge interest as I have been the one in my extended family designated to take charge of bits of family history. I don't view these items as a burden but I don't want to leave them for my kids to sort through, either. I have postcards and letters which my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWI. I have my grandmother's HS diploma which is over 100 years old and other similar documents. I have baptismal dresses which belonged to my aunts (who are now deceased) and two of my mother's baby dresses which are probably 95 years old. Of course there are old books, old china, old glassware, photos, etc.

While I am not concerned with the old china and glassware, does anyone have suggestions on what to do with some of the other items? I don't know that my adult children want them but I hate to toss things like the diplomas and baptismal records.

Thanks.

Sleepwell
I'll place the first vote for "toss them." Granted, I may not be the most sentimental guy, but those things will eventually be tossed and it's just a matter of when. I'm sure I have my own high school and college diplomas somewhere, but they may be tossed in the next iteration of decluttering. Sure, I worked really hard for four years for that college STEM degree. Does that paper bring me any joy/pleasure/happiness? Or, just PTSD? At the end of the day, there just isn't much of this kind of "stuff" that will ever be used for anything.
If I am at all on the fence about tossing something , the first question that I ask myself is “Is there any chance my kids will want these?”

And the answer is always no.
+1. If it wasn't for my wife, all of my degrees would have been tossed. I've accumulated probably hundreds of athletic trophies and medals over the years, not a single one of them still in my possession. Earlier this year I received an award from the state for my contributions to the autism community; I was tossing the plaque when my daughter asked if she could have it. It's now "her trophy".

I have a (still working) memory and pictures, I don't need a tangible object to remind me of what has happened in my life. I'll go through our closets and garage maybe a day every other month and get rid of things that are no longer used; this is a very difficult process for my wife and daughter. The only thing we'll be inheriting from my parents and in-laws are knick-knacks; the first thing I'll do is rent a dumpster.

blackburnian
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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by blackburnian » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:43 am

Some of these papers/photos/clothes do have value for future historians if no one in the family wants them. You can try a local historical society or a national organization such as the VA for papers relating to military service (https://www.loc.gov/vets/), for example. Companies and universities have their own archives, so if a relative was associated with one of them, they might take the papers (that's what we did with the papers of my father, who was a university administrator). The New England Historic Genealogical Society collects family papers having to do with genealogy: https://www.americanancestors.org/Suppo ... -Materials. I agree that it's a good idea to also donate some money to pay for processing the papers. The book "How to Weed Your Attic" provides some useful, practical tips: https://www.amazon.com/How-Weed-Your-At ... 1538115468

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Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

Post by ncbill » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:06 am

Mountain cabin for us - built by maternal grandparents, inherited mom's share when she died, two aunts inherited the rest.

Bought out one of them a decade ago, but my last aunt had it appraised right before the Great Recession, at market peak.

So based on that she wants nearly twice what her share is worth...but at least she's not pressuring me & is paying her share of maintenance/repair.

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