In the unfortunate event that a family member passes there may be a big full house someone has to manage for organizing the estate. Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether sudden or expected, the loss is one of the most difficult things a family will experience together. One difficult aspect of dealing with the loss is managing the belongings and property left behind. There are so many decisions to be made. With decades of experience in helping families going through these difficult times, Finely Sorted Organizing can work with you and your family to navigate the process and reduce the material and emotional burden.
Organizing the Estate: the Timeline
Are there things that will need to be done right away? Are there bills to be paid, services to be stopped, pets that need considering, perishables or plants that need attention? These are some of the immediate concerns. Friends and family need to be notified and there are other issues that can be managed as time and the grieving process allow. Will you sell the home or pass it along to someone in the family? If you plan to sell the home paint and repairs will undoubtably be necessary to bring it up to a new buyer’s expectations.
Organizing the Estate: Paperwork
The will and other documents with the wishes of the deceased need to be located. Find important financial documents such as are related to bank accounts, brokerage accounts, trusts, and insurance policies. Hopefully the deceased maintained a clear online account passwords document. Run a credit report to ensure that all credit card accounts are identified. It’s important to cancel all credit accounts and to notify financial institutions as soon as possible so that no activity is permitted until the estate has been settled.
Organizing the Estate: Key People
Hopefully there is an executor or an attorney related to the estate. Probate can be a time-consuming process. When the will is read decisions in accordance with the deceased wishes may be put into place. There will undoubtably be items in need of appraisal and valued. You will need to contact antiques dealers and perhaps high-end antiques appraisers for some estates. With guidance and support, a professional organizer can help in the process allowing you to stay relaxed but focused. The organizer can go through the house and organize things so all like things are together making the weeding decision much easier for the person making the decisions. If the family is far away photos or video can be shared so that the person in charge can make the decisions in regard to what to keep or not. There’s no judgment and you won’t feel pressured to give up things you want to keep.
Organizing the Estate: Distribution
If lucky property will have been designated by either the will or other understanding among the family but often the family will need to inventory items and make decisions about where things will go. Often homes will need to be emptied and readied for sale. There will be a need for someone with a truck to move things to donation. Be sure hazardous wastes are identified and safely taken to the local certified collection point. The most common products include aerosols, anti-freeze, asbestos, fertilizers, motor oil, paint supplies, photo chemicals, poisons, and solvents. It is valuable to find what organizations accept what things. The Habitat for Humanity Restore takes many housing items. The Salvation Army will sometimes come pick up large items such as couches to resell as long as there are no rips in them. Finely Sorted Organizing can help with all of these things and more. Probably better to call sooner than later!
Could you use some help organizing the estate? Contact us to learn how we can help!
Are you interested to learn more about how a professional organizer can help you? Check out this New York Times article.