Cleaning Out A Late Parent’s Home
When a parent dies, people find themselves torn between grief and the need to immediately clean out a family home filled with memories, bills, clothes, photos, furniture, antiques, kitchen items and more.
Not only is the task emotionally draining but physically, and filled with snap decisions on what to keep, toss, sell, give to family members or donate to charity.
Here are some tips to help when, and if, that time comes for you:
Divide the work ~
The job is so big you’ve likely need help, and lots of it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family members and friends.
Be meticulous ~
You won’t want to look through every single closet, drawer and container – but do it. You never know when you’ll find a diamond in the ruff, cash or jewelry in clothes pockets.
Find financial documents ~
Before throwing away anything, find and put aside your parent’s will, trusts, life insurance policies and statements, real estate deeds and titles, and bank statements, stock certificates, 401(k) and tax returns and receipts to for the next year’s income tax return. Also get the estate appraised.
When it comes to belongings, family comes first ~
Have your siblings create a wish list of the items they’d like from the estate, then try to divide the assets equally by monetary value, which you’ll know through the appraisals.
Preserve memorabilia ~
Family photos and heirlooms are irreplaceable. Don’t leave anything behind.
Donate or sell your parent’s clothes ~
Most clothing has little resale value, unless it’s vintage, new or in perfect condition. Ultimately, the best bet may be to donate the clothes to a worthy cause.
As hard as it is, cleaning out your parents’ home can be your final, loving goodbye. And, if you need help, please give us a call. We are always here to help.