The loss of a loved one is always difficult and it is not uncommon for grieving family members to find themselves feeling lost or confused regarding how to best manage the departed’s estate. With so many concerns and situations that may require attention, lacking a clear understanding regarding how best to move forward can lead to unnecessary complications. Knowing what steps to take following the loss of a loved one ensures that handling the estate does not have to become an ordeal.
Address Any Outstanding Debts
The financial standing of a lost loved one is something that needs to be assessed before any other major decisions regarding the estate can be made. A home mortgage or other outstanding debts pertaining to the property or residence are never small matters. A formal assessment of the finances and state of the property are often essential in order to ensure that an estate sale is able to be managed to greater effect. Overlooking a delinquent account or an outstanding debt could find surviving family members unable to make the right decisions when it comes to handling estate sales in a manner that will best offset any outstanding debts.
Create an Inventory
Working from a master inventory is a great way to ensure that no assets or belongings go overlooked. Liquidating an entire estate may involve several steps, different buyers, and multiple opportunities to sell old belongings or unwanted items. Lacking inventory to work with may lead to unnecessary confusion and increased risk of a misstep, oversight or lost opportunity. Once all outstanding debts have been tallied, taking a comprehensive inventory of the property and belongings that make up the estate can provide family members with a much clearer picture regarding the overall financial picture and the options that are available to them.
Fixing and Cleaning the Property
In most situations, a departed loved one’s home or residence will account for the most valuable asset of their estate. Contacting a Raleigh, NC appraiser in order to have a home, property or real-estate listing assessed by a professional is often an essential concern and family members would do well to do so at the earliest opportunity. Investing in the repair, cleaning or even renovations and upgrades to an existing home can drastically improve its market value and help to ensure a quicker and more successful sale. The overall state and condition that a property is in is something that must be considered carefully and the detailed appraisal, estimate and other reports that only a trained professional may be able to generate can provide indispensable insight.
Marketing an Estate Sale
From finding a buyer for the property to managing a simple yard sale to take care of any remaining options, promotional efforts and marketing techniques often hold the key to ensuring a successful estate sale. Families that are still dealing with a recent loss and individuals who lack experience with sales and promotional efforts often require some outside assistance. Third-party service providers, brokers, and other professionals that may be better equipped to market a home or raise awareness regarding an upcoming estate sale often play an important role and are not a resource that should be overlooked.
Contact an Attorney
From assessing financial matters to finding the best property appraiser, working with an estate attorney can be of tremendous benefit to almost every aspect of the process. Legal issues relating to estate management, inheritance, and related matters can often be confusing or impenetrable to those who lack the assistance and insight that an experienced firm or attorney can bring to the table. Contacting a lawyer or scheduling a consultation in order to discuss either specific matters pertaining to the estate or a general strategy for how best to manage the sale is something that family members would do well to consider.
From reading the will to finding buyers for any assets that have been left behind, knowing what to expect when handling a loved one’s estate may help to ensure that families are able to make smarter and more effective decisions. The time immediately following a loss is often difficult, confusing, and emotionally trying. Lacking a basic understanding as to what may be involved when managing a successful estate sale may only complicate things. Taking stock of financial concerns, arranging to have homes and other assets formally appraised or seeking out an attorney that may be able to help with the entire process can all be essential to the overall process.