My husband wound up sorting through all of Mom’s financial and personal papers. Truthfully, I didn't feel like digging through every single one of my mom’s closets, drawers and containers. Talk with an attorney about how to transfer assets to named beneficiaries. Hire an estate appraiser to value furniture, jewelry and antiques.
We hired my mother's wonderful home care aide for a few hours each week to take down stored dishes and empty the cabinets. But when I discovered a set of Georg Jensen silverware tucked into a pillowcase in the back of a junk drawer and found her diamond watch in a box of costume jewelry, I realized I had to be meticulous. ) Mom often tucked cash and jewelry into her clothes pockets and always said "check the pockets" before giving anything away. This accredited professional will give you an estimate for each item, charging an hourly fee.
Hall says a general appraisal typically takes one to three hours.
Then, try to divide the assets equally by monetary value, which you’ll know through the appraisals. Many of these mementos (or pictures of them) will appear in a family history book I'm preparing for our grandchildren. Be strategic about donating or selling your parent’s clothes.
(MORE: 'The Conversation’ You Need to Have This Holiday Season) Emotionally and physically, the task was draining.
I had to make snap decisions about what to keep, toss, sell, give to family members or donate to charity.
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