How and When You Should Have an Estate Sale

As your family members grow old, their homes start to accumulate years’ worth of items. Some of these items are precious mementos that they want to keep and bequeath to their next of kin. The rest of the furniture and decorative items may have little to no sentimental value but have enough financial worth to be sold in an estate sale. Regardless of the possessions, planning an estate is always a good idea.

Why Have an Estate Sale?

Estate sales aren’t just for family members who have passed away. Elderly individuals may decide to have an estate sale while they’re still alive to help pay their medical bills, especially if their social security payments aren’t sufficient to cover the costs of their care. Or, if an elderly relative is about to enter a residential care facility, it might be a good time to hold an estate sale to raise money for their care and end-of-life planning. The average life expectancy is rising, and residential care facilities are expensive. After a loved one dies, estate sales can be held once the loved one’s last wishes have been executed as expressed in their last will and testament. Often, the house must be sold before its value can be split up among the inheritors. Even if a single individual inherits the property, he or she may not want all of the items that were left behind. Estate sales can be useful for disposing of unneeded items and making a profit at the same time.

How Should an Estate Sale Be Handled?

There are different ways to go about setting this sale up, so research the best way to hold an estate sale according to your own situation. The estate sale should be done with some measure of decorum and respect for the deceased individual. At a time of grief, the situation should not be exacerbated by fighting over the remaining possessions. Often, in-fighting between family members can create deep fissures that tear a family apart. The estate sale should not occur until all family members have had the opportunity to take mementos to remember their loved one by. Only then can the remaining items be appraised and put up for sale. To get the best turnout, make sure to advertise the sale beforehand.

If estate sales are handled properly, they can be a useful way to dispose of a late relative’s property or act as a financing tool for long-term care. Still, no financial gain is worth alienating close family members, so tread lightly.

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