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.



What Should I Keep When Cleaning Out Dad’s House?

Don’t take things just to take them

By Julie Hall

Don’t sell, give away, or donate anything until a professional has examined it. So many boomers throw away or give away personal possessions worth a fortune, simply because they don’t know the values. Tell everyone no until the appraiser has reviewed everything. The cost to pay a personal property appraiser is nothing compared to what you could find, not to mention the peace of mind it will give you!

Keep the following:

  • Anything that can provide family history
  • Family heirlooms if they are wanted and will be cherished: Don’t force heirlooms on the children if their hearts aren’t in it.
  • All items of perceived monetary value: Hire that appraiser!
  • Some family photographs
  • Rare or unusual items (some antiques fall into this category) IF someone has room for them and wants them: It’s okay to sell if no one wants them.
  • Jewelry: Have items appraised first.
  • Items with historic significance: You may donate if no family member wants them.
  • Important documents: These must be kept together until they are all sorted through by the executor.
  • Collections (gold, coins, guns, stamps, etc.): Always have them evaluated by a professional.
  • Antiques, artwork, paintings, sculpture: These must be evaluated by a professional.
  • Military items: These items are sought by collectors but may also be vital to family history.
  • Safes, safety deposit boxes, and their contents
  • Anything you cannot identify


Don’t take things just to take them. Select a few sentimental items that are small enough for you to use or to display in your home. Great family and marital strife can develop if you take too much. Remember, the more you take now, the more your children will have to deal with later.

By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog

[First posted November 29, 2010, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]

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