This is the first in a series of articles in an effort to assist people with the sad situation of liquidating an inherited property and estate. Death brings overwhelming emotion with unexpected responsibilities.
Our culture already includes limited schedules. The last thing you need is an extremely time consuming project thrown in the middle of your life. There are few individuals waking up and proclaiming they really want to maintain, repair, clean, clear out, and sell a relative’s home. If the estate includes rental or commercial properties, the task multiplies in terms of time and account management. The emotional baggage is part of this package, also.
Immediate actions include securing the property:
- Locate keys for –
- Doors and windows
- Safe deposit boxes
- Outbuildings, sheds, pool gates, storage units,etc.
- Riding lawn mowers, ATV’s, boats and recreational vehicles
- Safes and firearms
2. Locate garage door remotes
3. Locate security system info
4. Remove pets
5. Make arrangements or forward mail & deliveries
6. Evaluate services conducted -landscaping, exterminators, etc.
7. Locate legal instruments, documents and utility bills.
The relationship with the deceased will dictate whether detailed plans were shared or you’re driving blind in the dark. Directives in the form of wills, trusts, life estates and other legal documents will provide a course to follow. An appointment with an attorney is strongly advised. Executor/executrix or trustee authorization will be required to transfer title/deed to another party or yourself. A reputable Realtor® can only advise you with the documents/authorizations required required to contract the home for sale or lease.
The location of the house is a factor in planning execution and disposition. If the home is not local, a schedule for travel and expenses associated, must be made. It is easy to acquire an “out of sight, out of mind” approach during stressful events and grief. Empty houses appear to deteriorate at a quicker pace than homes with life within.
This is stage 1 of an estate inheritance and liquidation. It is common to be dealing with an upset family/kinship. The routine deeds and responsibilities still need tended to. In all likelihood, you have a full time career or commitments in your life. Strong individuals can begin to bend when life changing experiences occur. Your BFF/spouse/significant other/life partner can assist in talking through timelines, delegation of duties, returning calls during this difficult time.
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