Chapter 5: Your sibling’s belongings


I am very grateful that my brother-in-law asked me if I wanted any of my sister’s clothes or jewellery. I picked a scarf and a bracelet that I wear every day. Whether I had these things or not, I would never forget my sister, but somehow they bring me comfort.

When we were kids, our dad took us to a baseball game and a home run ball came our way! We both scrambled for it, but my brother was quick! I was jealous but also happy for him – what a day! It was one of his favourite stories to tell and a prized possession. After he died, it meant the world to me when his husband gave me the ball, and now I tell our story.

Your sibling’s belongings may include a houseful of belongings or just a few special mementos that were important to them. You might feel deeply attached to some items or not be interested in “things,” or you may be somewhere in between.

It’s important to remember that if your sibling had a will, some or all decisions about belongings might have already been made.

Depending on the situation, decisions may need to happen quickly. Click here to see some possible reasons.

  • Health facility or rental policies set time limits.
  • A home needs to be sold.
  • You or others live elsewhere.

If there is time, you and others in your family might choose to make decisions gradually. You might feel differently about things as time goes by. You might also find great comfort in keeping things as they are.