I recently had to vacate my parents’ home here in Albuquerque. With Baby Boomer facing a lifetime of photos, papers, furniture, and keepsakes, this was a daunting challenge.
My parents used to split their time between Florida and New Mexico, but the pandemic put an end to that. As they got older, we found they needed more care than my brother who was living with them could provide. They are now in a very nice assisted living facility in Florida.
There is no need to keep the house in New Mexico. My older brother and I were tasked with selling real estate and selling the house. Here are some tips from our experiences:
Photo and paper processing
We have hired a great real estate company to handle the sale of household goods. However, the family had to take out personal papers and photos before selling the estate. My father had a huge number of photos, in boxes, albums, frames.
My father has kept the files for every real estate deal he’s made since 1959. We decided to keep the files from the past 10 years. There were medical files, files for every child, files for cars sold years ago. I managed to shrink three filing cabinets into five banker boxes.
In terms of photos, we packed an entire wall of family photos, nicknamed “Robin’s Wall,” and sent them to my younger brother to recreate in his home. We found boxes and boxes of old photos. At some point, we get confused and just take boxes of photos to my house for later sorting.
Keeping historical records
One of my challenges was what to do with my mom and dad’s yearbooks from 1949 to 1953. One great suggestion from an expert was to approach the university’s alumni association and ask if they’d like to get it. They were happy to receive yearbooks for posterity. The history they keep in your alma mater will now be saved.
Working with professionals
I wouldn’t sell a house without the help of a realtor. Do not attempt to sell real estate without the help of a professional.
In this 12-minute interview, Karen Hayat with the advantages of real estate He talks about how to help their grandchildren. Real estate professionals work with families, lawyers, and bankers tasked with handling real estate. It covers topics such as conducting an inventory, finding papers, sorting and digitizing photos, passing on family legacies, and how long it can take to process the entire estate and its contents.
Keep in mind that a funeral is not the end, it is the beginning of the end. It starts before someone dies with the downsizing of the estate. Think about it for your family, for your parents’ home(s), or for your clients’ property.
Jill Rubin, Certified Secondary Specialist and The Doyenne of Death®, is a leading educator in the field of death education. She uses humor, funny movie clips, and out-of-the-box activities to teach end-of-life pre-planning. She curated the award-winning Before I Die New Mexico festival, and was honored by Albuquerque Business First with the 2019 Influential Woman Award. She is also the author of three books on end-of-life issues and a certified funeral celebrant. Her website is www.AGoodGoodbye.com.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Lawyers, Inc.
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