Julie Hall

The Estate Lady

Julie Hall is an expert in dealing with personal property from the Depression era. Estate dissolution and helping grieving families make appropriate decisions during the estate settlement process are her specialties. She is a certified personal property appraiser, an estate sales professional, a residential content removal specialist, and a broker of fine items. As owner of The Estate Lady®, LLC, she brings 18 years of experience to families facing the overwhelming task of dissolving the family home.

6 Practical Ways to Help Your Parents This Fall

Always approach them with love

By Julie Hall

Now that the weather is cooling and the leaves are falling, here are six practical ways that you can assist your elderly parents:

  1. Help your parents protect all their assets. Know all the professionals they work with (e.g., CPA, financial planner, attorney).
  2. Know the location of all their important documents. If the documents are in a locked cabinet or fireproof storage, know where the keys are kept.
  3. Have the important conversations with them about their wishes for the future: who will be their executor, who will hold health care power of attorney, etc.
  4. You can’t take it with you! If they are able, suggest to your parents that they write a master list of who should get what and give the document to the executor. Or they can ask each child what he or she would like to have, and put that on a “wish list.” A document cuts down on the “he-said-she-said” that often occurs when settling an estate.
  5. Start decluttering and thinning out your parents’ home now. Often children are overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in their Depression era parents’ home. This is a good way to begin the process of cleaning out, so you won’t have to do it all at once later. Make sure you have their permission.
  6. Always come from a place of love. You will have several difficult conversations and awkward moments when asking your parents these questions. Always approach them with love. For example, “Mom, we are very worried about you and would like to have a talk about what you would like for your future. Sue and I want to honor your wishes, but we first need to know what those wishes are.”

For more practical tips and compassionate advice, read my best-selling books, The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff, and A Boomer's Guide to Cleaning Out Your Parents' Estate in 30 Days or Less.

By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog

[First posted September 13, 2010, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]


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