Q+A: How to Access Grandma’s Storage Unit

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My grandmother has a storage unit, but they won’t let me get into it. She recently fell sick with Alzheimer’s and is now in a nursing home. She can’t really make sense when she tries to talk, so she isn’t much help trying to access the unit. We can’t afford to pay these storage fees.  The storage company says since my grandma is the only one on the storage unit contract, that I’ll have to have a POA document. I don’t have one, or a guardianship, and I don’t want to do that. If we don’t pay the fees each month they will auction off all of our stuff. Our family heirlooms are in that unit. How can I get in?  – Millie from Orange County


Hello Millie — I am so sorry for what you are going through. This is very difficult. You really need to see an elder law attorney asap. As a last ditch effort, one risky solution is to stop paying the fees. When her unit goes to auction, you attend the auction and buy the contents of the unit. Anyone can attend an auction and buy the contents with cash. Of course there are a million things can go wrong with this idea so it is not a foolproof plan. No guarantee that you WILL for sure be able to save this stuff. I would hate for your family to lose all their history. This happened to one of my clients many years ago, and it still bothers me. An elder law attorney can provide you with the quickest and safest options. Good luck!


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00a7e40This blog is shared by Theresa Barton, the expert behind The Guardian Network with more than 25 years of experience in the field of Elder Advocacy, Care Management and Guardianship. Learn more about Theresa’s work and resources for families, caregivers and health, support and legal professionals here.




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