It is something no one likes to think about: the final stages of your life. For some, it may be coming sooner than you want. However, there are important details to consider as you start to plan for the final move, either to a smaller living community, assisted living, or passing on. It is an incredibly emotional experience for children of elderly parents to deal with their estate after they have passed on. What do you do with the memories? Which child gets what? Was this item meaningful, or can it be put in the estate sale? To help alleviate some of this pain, we have a few tips.
Establish a Legal Will Early
It is never too early to start thinking about your final move. Because no one knows the time or place when they will pass on, it is essential to have a plan for your children or family dealing with your estate. First, make sure you have a legally verified last will. Leaving it to your kids to decide where your assets end up can stir up many feelings and even cause rifts between family members. Laying this out in a document that clearly defines your last wishes helps alleviate this.
Sort and Purge
If you have more than one child, take the time to go through their childhood memorabilia and sort it into boxes or totes and label them with that child’s name. If you don’t plan on giving the box to your child until you move or pass away, make sure to communicate with them that these boxes exist. Ask them to go through their stuff and get rid of what they don’t want. Then, collect the unwanted items and donate them. Here is a list of charities that offer free donation pick up.
Make a List
In addition to your last will, you will want to make a list of your most cherished items. This will help your family decide what things they need to keep and what they can sell. Your great-grandmother’s wedding ring? Could you put it on the list? That old pocket watch from the war era? Add it to the list. But, again, don’t leave this up to your kids to decide what stays and what goes.
Communicate Your Wishes
One of the most emotional situations after a parent or loved one passes away is the unknown. It is vital to communicate your wishes before the inevitable happens. If you know your children will be dealing with your final things, talk to them about your will, your organization system, and the memories that have meant a lot to you over your lifetime. No one wants to talk about death, the final move. But, one of the most extraordinary acts of love is preparing yourself and your family for it.
If you are dealing with some final move preparations and don’t know where to start, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to provide you with moving, sorting, and cleanout support as you work through this emotional time.