Sneak Peek: Practical Wisdom

Over the next couple of weeks,  I want to give you a taste of the practical wisdom I have poured into my latest book.  The title is “A Boomer’s Guide to Cleaning Out Your Parents’ Estate in 30 Days or Less.”  I definitely believe this is a realistic time frame, although many boomers spend years struggling with this process.  Sometimes they move the parents’ belongings to expensive storage buildings, while they fight or avoid dealing with the stuff.  It doesn’t have to be that painful or protracted; the estate can be cleared out in a deliberate and decisive way.  It can be done with this guide.

This is a practical workbook that you can take along in your briefcase or pocketbook, and check off completed items, make personal notes, fill in worksheets.

Here’s a taste of what to expect, except in my book there is room for notes and there are boxes beside each item to check when complete.


The executor has a responsibility to protect all that the parents owned until all decisions have been made about the proper distribution and dissolution methods.  The following are important, critical first steps to be taken by the executor or estate attorney in order to properly protect and prepare the estate on behalf of the deceased parents.

  • Collect keys / change residential and other property locks (no exceptions)
  • New master keys to be in the executor’s and/or estate attorney’s possession only
  • Notify heirs and family members that locks have been changed for security reasons
  • Remove valuables (should only be done by the executor or executrix) including: (see my book for the specifics)
  • Notify heirs and family members that removal of valuables is temporary only until the estate is settled
  • Prepare a list of all valuables to be kept in executor’s or estate attorney’s file for documentation
  • Hire a professional appraiser to assess all valuables

This represents only a third of the material I’ve given in my book for this one list alone.  If you’d like to read more, you can get a copy of my book by clicking on the link at the right of this blog.  Another sample of my book next week!

© 2010 Julie Hall

2 thoughts on “Sneak Peek: Practical Wisdom

  1. We are three siblings who are dividing the furniture and “stuff” of our Mother’s estate. Do you have a recommendation for the best “draw sequence?” We’ve looked at several, such as 123, 123 etc, and at 123, 231, 312. Also at reverse patterns. All seem to favor one number over others. We are not interested in the auction approach. Any suggestions?
    I have ordered your “Boomer’s Guide” book but I don’t think it includes draw patterns. Thanks for any help you can give.

    1. I have seen many clients choose the order of birth and then reverse it. 1,2,3,3,2,1. So the 3rd chooses twice to make up for being stuck at the bottom. Others create a wish list of what each would like to have. Then have those items professionally appraised by a personal property appraiser and have the wish lists tallied up. The objective is to have equitable distribution across the tally lines on the wish list. If one sibling has significanly more than the others, that amount must be filled in with cash or other assets to make it as even as possible. I certainly hope that helps you!

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