When loved ones die, it’s hard not to take everything personally. It can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever go through in life. But when your loved one dies and leaves behind an estate — well, that’s just business. And when it comes to cleaning out your parents’ home — well, that can be complicated if your loved one was a packrat or loved by many people who are trying to get their hands on certain mementos.
How to cope when a loved one dies
So when loved ones die, you’re in for an emotional roller coaster ride. On the one hand, you’re trying to cope with the loss of someone who was close to your heart. On the other hand, you have to make sure that a loved one’s estate is managed correctly and everyone gets their fair share (or at least what’s rightfully theirs).
There are many things you can do when loved ones die. One of them is starting to clean up all personal effects. And that usually means taking care of property left behind — like a house full of decades’ worth of stuff that needs sorting out.
Planning an Estate Cleanout
The first step in planning an estate cleanout is to get a detailed list of what’s in the house. Ask your loved one’s executor for a complete inventory. And take it from there — what to keep, sell, where to donate items, and how long you have for each task.
Once you’ve divided up the work, it’s time to decide who will actually do the physical work of cleaning out the house. Chances are you won’t be able to fit everything into one carload, so consider having different waves of people come on different days (depending on deadlines), or hiring someone to help with moving things around.
It’s important not only to set some sort of time limit (like two weeks) for yourself but also to make this clear to everyone else. It’s very easy for loved ones and others to hold on to items because “they may need them one day.” Let your loved ones know that you want them out of the house by a certain date (at least 10 days after you get the estate inventory list), and then be firm about it.
If there’s truly something they might need in the future, encourage loved ones to go through their own belongings and find what they’re looking for — just not at your loved one’s expense! If loved ones won’t listen or agree with you, consider petitioning for an extra time allowance from the court. Threaten legal action if necessary.
Divide Up Possessions Carefully
Once you’ve got a time limit, have loved ones divide up the belongings carefully. Keep items that they want to keep and donate items that they no longer need (giving relatives first dibs). Items such as cars, appliances, and furniture can be sold or given away.
During this process of dividing things up, watch closely for anything valuable — like jewelry, antiques, or artwork. If loved ones give away something valuable without your knowledge, you might not be able to get it back (especially if it’s an item that will later prove to have sentimental or monetary value). Try talking them into selling what they don’t want and splitting the proceeds with you; otherwise, it’s probably best to let go of any disputes over who gets what.
Cleaning House for Viewing
Before loved ones or prospective buyers can look at the estate, you’ll probably need to clean out the house. Start with your loved one’s bedroom and bathroom — they might be too personal to share with strangers. Then clean up the living room, dining room, kitchen (or whatever rooms are open to a company), making sure that everything is in its proper place. If loved ones had pets, be prepared for pet hair everywhere!
Open Houses With Estate Sales
When loved ones hold an estate sale, encourage them not just to sell items cheaply but also to have an estate sale that allows customers inside the house. If loved ones don’t want people traipsing around their home while they’re cleaning out the estate, encourage loved ones to clean the house before having an estate sale.
Estate Sales Are Legal
If loved ones are selling items at an estate sale (rather than donating them), loved ones need to make sure that they obtain a retail sales tax license and pay all required taxes on capital gains earned from the estate. If loved ones don’t sell everything via an estate sale, loved ones may want to keep receipts for anything they donate — just in case the IRS comes knocking on their door!
When loved ones have successfully cleaned out your loved one’s house and had a successful estate sale, it will be a relief for everyone involved. And hopefully, loved ones will have some extra mementos of happier with your loved one as well.
As you can see, there is much to be done when cleaning out your loved one’s house after a death.
Settling an Estate for dummies
It’s important to check a loved one’s estate tax return and see if loved ones owe taxes on the estate. Depending on a loved one’s assets, loved ones might not be required to file a U.S. Estate (Form 706). If loved ones don’t need to file a federal estate tax return, loved ones may be required to settle with state taxes (if any apply).
Donating and Receiving Items
If loved ones want to donate anything they receive from the estate, loved ones need to make sure that all donation receipts are filled out properly. This is especially true if loved ones plan on claiming those donations as tax deductions; otherwise, loved one risks an IRS audit.
End of life documents checklist
Try to go over a loved one’s estate settlement paperwork before loved ones sign it. This includes a loved one’s will, a loved one’s trust, and a loved one’s state intestacy instructions. If loved ones don’t understand a legal document before signing it, loved ones can ask a lawyer or financial professional for help.
In conclusion, there are many things to consider when cleaning out your parent’s house after a death. Loved ones should keep these tips in mind as they go through the process of dividing everything up between family members and selling the items at an estate sale. Good luck!
I’m sorry for your loss! It’s going to be difficult to clean out your loved one’s house without causing more stress on yourself and the loved ones around you. By following the steps above, loved ones should be able to clean out loved ones’ estate without too many problems.
I hope loved ones can find solace in your loved one’s possessions and that loved ones will always remember your loved one as a good person (no matter what).
Life insurance is a way loved ones can help loved ones cope with their loved one’s death. Also this way loved ones can help loved ones get the loved one’s estate in order. It is hard to feel that loved ones are really gone. They would like the loved one’s loved ones to remember them as they were. Why not do this by helping loved ones remember loved one’s loved ones with a gift that loved ones can cherish. This is a gift that loved ones will never forget and loved ones would be able to appreciate it every time loved ones use the gift. A life insurance policy is a good way to fulfill this wish of loved ones as well as help loved ones with loved one’s estate.
Selling inherited real estate
In the unfortunate event that loved ones inherit their parent’s home, loved ones need to decide whether or not loved ones want to stay in that house or sell it. If loved ones choose to sell the inherited real estate, loved ones have two choices: loved ones can either list the house with a real estate agent, or loved ones can hire a professional real estate service to sell the house for loved ones.
If a family member wants to sell the inherited real estate themselves, loved ones need to make sure loved ones do the necessary research on how much similar types of homes have sold for in loved one’s neighborhoods. Loved ones may also be able to hire a contractor to help loved ones fix up any problems with the house prior to selling it.
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Selling with a real estate agent
Hiring a real estate agent in times like these sounds perfect but it’s far more expensive and time-consuming than loved ones think. Selling it themselves seems more convenient and easy rather than paying commissions and losing a lot of resources in the process.
Need to sell the house after the estate cleanout?
The process of selling your loved one’s home can be physically and emotionally draining. It also feels overwhelming as many things need to be done, from a rough sort of the decedent’s things to be selling their home for the best price. There are many considerations to take into account and the right decisions need to be made at every step for things to go smoothly. If you would like more information about any specific aspect of what is required during the sell-a-home process after somebody dies, please do not hesitate to reach out, ASAP Cash Offer can most certainly help you! Just Fill up the form below, or call us at (805)427-8312 and you will receive a fair cash offer for your home within 24 hours, with no hidden fees or closing costs. We want your experience going through this challenging time as smooth as possible.