One day we will all have to deal with the loss of our parents. Its the cycle of life but something that none of us want to think about. Unless your parents are living in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you will have to deal with their stuff as well. If they are still in the family home, it can be overwhelming. Time and time again I get these phone calls. I think sometimes people just need someone to tell them its okay to let go.
In moments of grief, I have seen many a person just pack it all up. If they have a basement or storage area, there it goes. I have also seen houses sit for a number of years until the person feels up to dealing with it. There is no right or wrong answer here.
Either way you handle it, one day you will have to make some decisions. Here are some suggestions.
1. Enlist the aid of friends, family or a professional to help you go through the home. Get out the trash and items that can be donated. A professional can come in and sort items into categories for you.
2. Have a professional come in the home to access the value of things. I have seen people hold onto things for years that they feel are valuable. Its best to let a professional advise you on those matters. This might help you make some decisions.
3. Pack up the home by category. I have seen situations in which the whole home has been packed and moved into a child’s home or storage.
4. If you are ready to let go, then have an estate sale. You can do it yourself or have a professional run it for you. Whatever you don’t sell can be donated.
There is no right or wrong answer to how to handle your parents estate. You have to make that choice for yourself. The most important thing is to understand- you have options.
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