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.

Important Tips When Dealing with Personal Property from an Estate

Don’t do ANYTHING until you know what it is and what it’s worth

By Julie Hall

When a loved one becomes infirm or passes away, the handling of the estate and contents lands on the lap of the heir(s). If the heir is prepared, it will go much easier than if he or she operates in a crisis mode. All too often, I see children who don’t know anything about the estate and contents. It’s like they are literally walking into a dark house and starting from scratch with no guidance.

Here are some important tips to consider if you are currently dealing with an estate or will soon be handling one:

  1. Don’t do ANYTHING until you know what it is and what it’s worth. Do not give items to neighbors, friends, family, or charity until everything has been examined by a professional appraiser or you have been advised regarding the best method(s) to proceed with dissolution of the estate. It is well worth the cost to get this information. It will even assist with equitable distribution, thereby keeping things as neutral as possible between siblings.
  2. What is it worth? What someone is willing to pay you for it. It is not worth the dollar amount you see on the Internet—that is only an asking price and usually quite inflated at that. It is not worth what Grandma told you back in the '70s, and the stories that were told by previous generations can be a bit stretched through the years. As with anything else in life, the value is contingent upon many factors, one of which is supply and demand.

Since so many china sets have saturated the market, and will continue to do so, what do you think will happen to the price? If the younger women want Pottery Barn and IKEA, and not Grandma’s china, what will happen to these sets? The prices will continue to plummet. Always check with a professional appraiser first.

That’s enough to digest this week, but I have three more important tips for you next week!

By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog 

[First posted June 28, 2010, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]


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