Some aspects of the probate process and estate planning are fairly straightforward, but dealing with personal items is not always one of them.
As people, we tend to accumulate items as we age. That’s the nice way of putting it. “Hoarders” is a popular show on television for a reason.
When it comes to sorting out possessions in probate, it’s not just big things like vehicles and large equipment that have asset value. There are smaller things that may be more difficult to value. There’s a gray area where you can’t really say what items have of value, and what items don’t. Things might have “some” value – how do you deal with that?
Practical Standards for Probate
Some families get around unnecessary probate wrangling by having solid plans in place from the outset. If the deceased persons have named an executor, and that executor knows what to do with all of the smaller items in a home or property, then the family is one step ahead of the game.
If there are multiple executives or no one is named, the struggle over how to value and get rid of possessions may come down to what family members agree on. That’s where it can get difficult. Practicality is always a good guide.
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Too much itemization of personal possessions doesn’t really serve anyone. It starts to make people discouraged and intimidated by the process. There has to be a way to streamline the process of getting rid of all of the stuff that parents or other loved ones had collected over the years.
For example, an estate sale can be a practical solution, but again, it depends on what family members agree on, unless there is a clear path put forward ahead of time. However, good probate attorneys will help with practical advice and guidance for how to evaluate bulk personal items, what options are available to get rid of them, and how to deal with the value that they may generate.
Turn to Hedtke Law Group for effective counsel in family law, estate planning and more. We have our clients’ best interests in mind, and our goal is to give our clients a voice in a court of law, should that become necessary. Ultimately, an attorney is a guide, through complex processes and problems that people face, often without anticipation. Get a consultation with a top legal firm in the West Covina, CA area. We will listen and go to work for you.