If you find yourself grieving the loss of a loved one who has left behind a house full of possessions – there is a lot to be dealt with.
Organising, packing up and clearing the contents of Deceased Estate often requires lots of time and physical hard work. This is on top of all the emotions that you, other remaining family and friends have to deal with. There will also be financial and legal affairs to be sorted, which means appointments with lawyers and the banks to juggle.
Here are some of our handy tips for deceased estates – things you can do to make it easier on yourself
Be guided by the will
First up, when you are emotionally ready, check to see whether the deceased person specified any particular items were to go to named family, friends or charities. This is when you need to figure out who will inherit any money, the house itself (if this is owned), plus any contents. The first place to start is to read their Will (if there is one written). Its’ advisable to do this before calling in a professional company or starting the process of sorting, donating, or clearing items yourselves to avoid any family misunderstandings. You will need to work with the nominated Executor and the chosen lawyers for the Will to ensure this is done properly.
Financial authority sorted
If you need to access funds to assist you with the clearing process, make sure you have got this sorted with the nominated executor of the Will, your lawyers and any interested banks. This may take some time. If you would like to get started straight away, ensure there is a clear decision made about how much money can be used and for what purposes – to help you engage some professionals to help you with the tasks ahead. We often work with the lawyers to help clear a deceased estate – or we can work directly with the family or executors of the Will.
Sentimental and any valuable items
Once the items detailed in the Will have been identified and dealt with, then you may then wish to go through and decide which sentimental or any other valuable things to keep – either for family, close friends or for the extended family. If there are a few people involved, then consider inviting them to go through the belongings with you. Sharing stories around a table with each other as you decide who will take sentimental things like photos and jewellery can be one of the most memorable moments during the process. It can help you with your sense of grief and closure, but go easy on yourself, as it can also trigger a wave of emotions again.
Experienced professionals like our team at Junk Run or House Clearances will help you through the rest of the deceased estate clearance process carefully, quickly and compassionately – freeing you up to get on with your life. If you are short on time, juggling full time work, your own children or other commitments, please ring us. We can also help if just the thought of making a start is too overwhelming for you – or you are feeling embarrassed to ask for help and you have not done anything (which is common). We can provide a confidential obligation free estimate and meet you and your family to show you how easy the rest of the process could be. We often help when the closest family member is very busy or lives a long distance away.
Selling furniture and other items
Our kind and caring female-led team (who have all been through this personally) can help identify things that you might want to consider selling. We have the experience and a good eye for items that could attract interest and can help list them for you – or if you prefer, we can leave it all to you. We can help you get a good return by getting more valuable items officially appraised by experts. We work with antique specialists and auction house professionals and can quickly arrange valuations on more unusual or older items. We will not add a commission on to any items we may sell on your behalf.
A bit about donating items to local charities
Many charities no longer accept donations from members of the public, and they may not be able to come and collect items from you. However, we have great long-term relationships with a large network of local charities and community groups all over Auckland. This means we will often be able to find a new home for most things, and we know what items these organisations want and will still accept. As part of our service we hand sort, separate, and deliver these items to these recipients (in our trucks) at no charge to them. This often means we can find new homes for a much higher percentage of the house contents than you can. This also saves you having to lift, load and carry items yourself.
Clearing out a deceased estate can be even worse when there is a lot of rubbish to be removed. We can take care of all of it or you – even the unpleasant stuff. We have a trained team who will remove all unwanted rubbish, green waste or even old building materials stored under the house or in a garage. If it cannot be reused or recycled, we will dispose of it responsibly and clean up afterwards. There is no need to be embarrassed, we literally have seen it all before, including houses where there has been the most extreme hoarding behaviour going on for years.
Cleaning, gardening and minor repairs
Dealing with the clearing the house is one thing, but there are often many other things that need doing in preparation for selling or renting the house. Be kind to yourself and let us take care of finding professionals who will do a great job of mowing lawns, weeding, cleaning toilets, vacuuming, washing surfaces and scrubbing floors – even minor building repairs. We can also put you in touch with highly rated property management companies and real estate agents if you are looking for recommendations.
Be kind to yourself, this is not an easy process – especially if everything happened very suddenly or you have been watching a loved one battle a long term chronic condition. Pick up the phone and make a call – 012 586 544 to talk to one of our friendly female-led team who can talk you through the next steps.