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.

Eight Ways You Can Help Your Elderly Parents BEFORE Crisis

Always come from a place of love

By Julie Hall

Here are eight ways that you can be proactive and take action now to help de-clutter your parents’ home. Do this now for their sake—and for your own. I can tell you from personal experience: you do not want to have to do this in “crisis mode.”

  1. Have the important conversations with your parents. Approach them with love and ask them about their wishes. Try to gain an understanding of their financial situation. Be sure to know where all the important legal documents are kept.
  2. Start to de-clutter your parents’ home. Since they won’t likely appreciate this, suggest that you are helping them avoid both a fire and a tripping hazard. Start by removing expired food, unused things, piles of newspapers, etc.
  3. Discuss and document allocation of personal property and heirlooms. Create a wish list and ask an appraiser to assess the values. Suggest “gifting” of special items while your parents are still alive.
  4. Every time you leave their house, take a few bags of donation items with you. Dress the less fortunate. Tell your parents you are helping them to “thin out” the house.
  5. If your parents have already moved out or passed away, begin the process of clearing out the house by using three piles to sort belongings: donate, sell, keep.
  6. When in doubt, always have a personal property appraiser evaluate antiques, collectibles, and anything you are not sure about.
  7. Continue to keep in touch with siblings and keep everyone on the same page. This is the only way that the whole family will maintain close and healthy relationships through this process.
  8. Always come from a place of love. In the end, life is about MUCH more than the stuff. It’s about the wonderful, deep, and abiding relationships within our families.

Those are my thoughts for this week. Would you like to discuss these tips? Please leave a comment below!

By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog

[First posted February 15, 2010, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]


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