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.
Anne and Bill are a wonderful example of parents who prepare for the inevitable. Both are in their mid-70s, and in relatively good health, but their two children and several grandchildren live far away. They knew that when something happens to them, their children would have to journey to get there and assist. Wanting to make life easier for their kids, they decided to make sure their wishes were known.
This very hard-working middle-class couple has been married 52 years. They saved and invested a great deal of their money, and they wanted their assets protected. When it came time to downsize their home to move into a smaller one, they “de-cluttered" their home, sold most of their belongings, and lived comfortably on what they needed. Anne no longer has a need for all the silver plate, china, etc., and prefers the space to the clutter.
They hired a financial advisor to assist them with decisions and an estate planning attorney to create a revocable trust. They told their children that everything was in writing and gave them each a copy. The trust plainly states who is the executor, and who holds health care power of attorney. Both children are clear on their part of the responsibility. Though it was agonizing to listen to their parents’ last wishes, both children knew they owed them that.
Each child has a file containing all the vital information of their parents’ estate and guidelines within, even down to funeral arrangements, music to be played, and how many death certificates to order. This file remains in their file cabinets, hopefully for many years to come, but is easily accessible when the fateful phone call comes.
Do you see the ease with which the children have already been prepared, thanks to this wonderful set of parents? For parents to give this much thought to their own mortality cannot be easy from anyone’s perspective. Their actions toward their children were kind, generous, accepting, and loving. Their only wish is to ease their children’s burdens when they are in the midst of grief, estate dissolution, selling the home, travel, etc.
These are two very fortunate children to have everything spelled out for them before a time of crisis occurs. I should know, as Anne and Bill are my parents! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for loving us that much!
By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog
[First posted November 23, 2009, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]