According to Carole's will she wanted all of her possessions to be given to her mother. Unfortunately Carole had a lot of debts when she died and her creditors wanted to be paid. Her estranged husband Horace Schmidlapp also demanded that he get a large part of the estate. When Carole died her bank only had $412 in it. Her Pacific Palisades home, located at 1465 Capri Drive, was sold for $67,000. After all the lawyers and creditors were paid the estate was still in debt. Carole's family was forced to auction off her most of her belongings.
In March of 1949 an auction was held at the Lewis S. Hart gallery. Carole's white satin bed, her platinum engagement ring, and her collection of eleven fur coats were among the items being sold. Her mother Clara and sister Dorothy bid on some of the items so they could keep them in the family. More than 1600 of Carole's fans attended the two week auction. Her topaz ring sold for $1,250 and a cigarette lighter sold for $75. Carole's mother weeped as strangers bought these deeply personal items. She said "It's a shame to see the things she loved being sold to strangers."