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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Decides It's Time to Sell Parents' Home

DEAR ABBY: My parents -- both in their early 90s -- have lived with me for three years because they need care. We have maintained their home all this time, but they will never be able to return there.

Although my parents are somewhat cognizant, both suffer with mild dementia and haven't been back to their house for nearly two years. We have enlisted the help of an auctioneer and are planning to sell their house and much of the belongings and furniture. Our dilemma is whether or not to tell them. I'm not sure whether it's kinder to let them believe things are as they have been or tell them differently. -- WHAT'S RIGHT? IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR WHAT'S RIGHT?: You say your parents suffer from mild dementia. The respectful thing to do would be to have a talk with them about it before you do anything. When you do, remind them that because it has been two years, and maintaining two households is so expensive, you think this would be the prudent thing to do.

You didn't mention whether you have your parents' power of attorney, but if you don't, you should discuss what you're planning to do with your lawyer.

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