How to Sell the Family Piano

Today, Boomers having to settle their parents’ estates face an “elephant in the room” that isn’t so funny: the family piano. Many pianos are just downright hard to sell nowadays. They are heavy, difficult to move, expensive to repair and keep tuned and technologically backward. Acoustic pianos are rarely sought-after items for middle-class homes. Hardly […]

Household Goods Weights and Measures

Here’s a handy chart that I put together a few years ago when I helped down-sizers move to their new homes. It’s indispensable when figuring what your shipment of household goods weighs, and how much space it will take up in the moving truck. Van lines charge according to weight and distance and this chart […]

Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?

Your teenage grandkids probably don’t want to inherit the collectibles you now cherish. But don’t despair; the value one places on family heirlooms changes as one matures. To a 15 year old, grandpa’s journal is just a dust collector. When that 15 year old reaches 45, the same journal becomes a treasure of family history. […]

Does Debt Die With the Debtor?

Debt does not die with the debtor, but instead is placed on life support and faces the possibility of having the plug pulled at any time. When one dies, one’s property and debts become an estate probate issue.  Each state has it’s own set of probate rules to assure that the deceased’s debts are paid, […]

Documenting Your Possessions

Insurance companies love to accept premiums but hate to pay claims.  Recently, CNN obtained the training manuals for Allstate Insurance.  The training manuals procedures were based on the recommendations of the New York consulting firm McKinsey & Co…  The manuals outline a plan for Allstate to increase profits by reducing claims payouts.  According to reporter […]

Appraisal vs. Opinion of Value

My friend Jennifer, a Port Shopping Ambassador on a cruise ship, related the following story: a passenger purchased an antique clock from a store in Amsterdam, Holland for around $3,000 USD. The following day, the passenger got a serious case of buyer’s remorse, and sought to return the clock on the basis that the item […]

How to Clean Antique Furniture

Grandma goofed! Imagine that your great-grandmother owned a lovely mahogany buffet. She loved the piece; she waxed it twice a year and dusted it regularly, which was the highest standard of care in her day. Would great-grandmother be shocked to discover that her regular waxing and dusting created the dingy, dirty finish that is on […]

Auction With Live Auctioneers

You need cash. Short of robbing a bank, the quickest way to raise cash is to have an auction with live auctioneers. If you are an Estate Executor or a Business owner, then you already have merchandise to sell at an auction. If you are a Fundraising Chairperson, you’ll be surprised how easy it is […]

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