Our house is starting to need some work. There is exterior trim that needs to be painted, the siding needs power washing, and the gutters need to be cleaned out. I would love to have some new landscaping in the front island and three light fixtures I would like replaced because they are old; the house needs an overall facelift.
Then there’s me. I could use a little sprucing up too. My lower back feels like it was thrown in a wood chipper and spit out, probably from all my years of estate work. I have arthritis in my neck and hands, and a little bone in my foot that is protruding slightly (arthritis from pointy high-heeled shoes I just had to have way back when). My hair needs the gray roots covered over and a few more highlights added, but I haven’t had the time yet.
I’m not complaining. I’m making a point.
For each of these endeavors mentioned, I will call in a professional who knows exactly how to do them, because I do not. I will not attempt these tasks because somewhere along the line, I will botch the work and then it will cost more money and time to fix it. I know my limitations. Life has shown me my strengths, and it has also shown me when I should walk away and let a pro do it.
There are many who are do-it-yourself people, and for the most part, I admire people who can get so much done on their own. But I have also seen those who should have quit while they were ahead, for their work was not good. I go to a back specialist for my back, a foot specialist for my foot, a dentist for anything to do with my teeth, and a hairdresser I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world! I would not attempt to fix any of these on my own, for they are not in my repertoire of skills.
You wouldn’t go to a dentist for a knee replacement, would you?
The same is true for handling an estate. Families think they can navigate some pretty treacherous waters on their own. In my experience, many of them have capsized the boat along the way and hurt others in the process. All because they think they can do it or want to save the money that would have been spent on a professional.
“An estate professional knows these troubled waters and knows every aspect of handling the twists and turns. We know the market; we can predict human nature. We can maximize proceeds and preserve the good for you. Even with our commission, we bring in more money than a non-professional. We know the right contacts (local and national), resources and options, plus we guide you through the process. It’s like having an estate expert in your pocket. An excellent estate sale pro is worth their weight in solid gold.” — Julie Hall
Then there are those who know and understand the worth of hiring professionals. They want to pay to get the job done right the first time, so they don’t have it drag on, only to have to deal with it a year or so in the future. They simply want it done, and done correctly the first time.
There is an old saying, “Penny wise and pound foolish.” This applies to much of what I see when families deal with loved ones’ estates. They don’t want to pay a professional, but the mistakes they make are so costly: throwing away valuables, making hasty decisions, giving away things quickly, assuming mom just had junk, etc. They could have hired 4 professionals by the time they are done!
TIP FOR THE WEEK: There are some things you just shouldn’t attempt. Research and find the best estate professional; the right person is very worth the effort to find! Moving forward through a challenging estate situation is paramount to your continued well-being.
©2014 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.
No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent. Email her at Julie@TheEstateLady.com