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3:52 PM Mon, Dec. 10th

Classic Ann Landers: To avoid a family rift hire an appraiser and an attorney

Hundreds of Ann Landers’ loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.

Dear Ann Landers: I come from a large family. A few months ago, we lost our dad. During his illness, he made a detailed list of items he wanted to leave to his children and grandchildren.

Mom told him: “This is still my home, and these are my things, too. Nothing leaves.”

Her decision led to a discussion between my brothers and sisters. We agreed that nothing would be taken from the house. A few siblings, however, have been taking items for their children. That angered the rest of us, and we asked them to return the items. We argued that Mom is still alive and these things belong to her. As of now, not one of the siblings has returned anything.

We also feel that when Mom goes, the heirloom items should be handed down to us, not to the grandchildren. Then, if we choose, we will pass them on to the next generation. Please, Ann, print this letter and your comments so the entire family can read them. — Discord in Canada

Dear Canada: I have no idea whether Grandma is leaving behind the crown jewels of the Ottoman Empire or some pots, pans and beaded lampshades. I suggest she hire a professional appraiser and an attorney and get a will spelled out now.

If she doesn’t, I predict a world-class family fight that will turn into a two-generation disaster. Meanwhile, forget about the items that already have been taken from the house. It sounds as if there’s enough dissension as it is.

Dear Ann Landers: Two years ago, I was a married woman who became involved with a married man at work. At first, it was just flirting, but before long, we knew we were in love. It was exciting and wonderful.

We finally decided to divorce our spouses and get married.

What do I have today? My two children, who were once happy and well-adjusted, are now in therapy. I also have huge legal bills.

My in-laws despise me because they see their grandchildren only twice a year. I have a husband who sits in a chair at night drinking beer and smoking cigarettes while I cook, clean and fold laundry.

I wish I had used the effort I spent trying to hide my affair and put it to work saving my first marriage. I would have been a lot happier. Please print my letter, so other married women will think before they start fooling around. — Smart Too Late

Dear Smart: I wonder how many married women (and men) who are flirting or fooling around in the workplace will see themselves in your letter. I would not be surprised if your words nipped some of those romances in the bud.

Thanks for all the marriages you may have saved today. As for yours, I suggest counseling. If the couch potato won’t go with you, go alone.

Dear Ann Landers: Please warn your readers about the dangers of using satin sheets. I had them on my bed for years and never gave them a moment’s thought. One morning, as I lay on my stomach, I saw a towel on the floor and stretched down to pick it up. I slid off the bed so quickly, I had no time to react. I broke my neck. I was told that I came very close to becoming a quadriplegic. Fortunately, the spinal cord was not severed. My doctors were superb, and I am slowly recovering. The next person may not be as lucky as I was, Ann. Please say something about this in your column. — Opt for Cotton Sheets, Manchester, Conn.

Dear Manchester: I have heard of freak accidents, but yours is one of the strangest. I have had satin sheets in my guest bedroom for years, but never known of anyone who slid off.

Thanks for the warning