Inheriting a Houseful of Stuff

Ever inherited someone’s house and stuff?

When a loved one dies, beneficiaries go through their belongings. I’ve heard horror stories of families fighting over worldly possessions. Dismantling a house requires a good plan. Honor the loved one’s final wishes regarding specific items or charitable donations. If the home is sizable, rent a storage unit or pod to move valuable items while cleaning out the home. Gather family and close friends to divide these. When a neighbor passed years ago, we were invited to pick out a piece of memorabilia from the family that they had set aside. It was an honor to be included.

Go through things carefully. Check pockets and purses. Inspect closets, drawers, attics, basements, and bookshelves so nothing is overlooked. A will may include information for safes, lockboxes and vital passwords. Take papers and documents to a safe location in order to settle financial accounts and close the estate. Plan to trash the broken, useless items. Do some research and decide if you want to sell items of value. Consider an estate sale, eBay or Facebook Marketplace after learn the fair market values. If not worth your time, donate items to a worthy cause. When the home is finally empty, have a house cleaning party or hire a cleaning service. Consult a trusted realtor for advice. Keep an eternal perspective and never let greed consume you especially at someone’s passing. Death is a reminder that life on earth is temporary. Our real inheritance is in heaven. 

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