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December 14, 2017


Hard-to-Sell Estate Items

Previously published on WorthPoint.com It’s fun to think of estates as being filled with hidden treasures, waiting to be discovered and cashed in for Big Bucks. Hardly a week goes by without a news report of a naive estate shopper finding a rare painting, tool, coin or other collectible. The hard truth is that estate

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

Liquidating Estate Tangible Personal Property

Pop quiz for executors: what estate settlement task will take up most of your time, cause you the most aggravation, and return the smallest amount of cash to the estate coffers? Answer: liquidating the tangible personal property. Of course, anyone who has ever served as an estate executor already knows this. To the uninitiated, let

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

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

Estate Artwork

The best clue for determining if your estate contains valuable artwork is the way in which the art work is framed.  No one puts expensive artwork into a cheap frame (at least no one who knows what they have). Of course, it’s possible to find cheap art in a nice frame, but it’s unlikely. If

Used Mattresses and Upholstered Furniture

Selling used mattresses and upholstered furniture comes with certain risks. The stuffings used in upholstered furniture can absorb bodily fluids, spilled beverages, and food debris. Stuffing can harbor mold, mites and diseases; spinal meningitis is commonly transferred through shared mattresses and bedding. In my home state of Virginia, bedding is defined as: “any mattress, mattress

Estate Executor’s To-Do List Part 2

Let’s start with an overview of an Executors’ responsibilities. As executor, your first duty is to initiate probate, which is the formal process of proving the Will and confirming your appointment as executor. The Clerk of your county Probate Court can provide you with the forms that are appropriate for your county. My experience with

Estate Executor’s To-Do List: Part 1

I just got off the phone with Nancy. She is feeling a bit overwhelmed. Her mother has just died, and Nancy has been appointed executor of her mothers’ estate. Nancy has a full time job and a family of her own. Her mom lives in a different state. Nancy doesn’t see how she will have

Finding A Reputable Estate Sale Company

How do you know if you are dealing with a reputable estate sale company? Unfortunately, asking for references doesn’t always work; no one gives a bad reference. The Better Business Bureau lists ratings for some, but not all, companies. With an auction company, most states have an occupational licensing board which can give you the

Estate Tag Sale

Here are the “pros and cons” of selling your estate personal property via an estate tag sale: Pros for Tag Sale On-Site Tag sales have several advantages over an on-site auction. For those that are not familiar with tag sales, the sale is held on the premises and in the house. Companies that specialize in

Auction Gallery Consignment

Here are the “pros and cons” for consigning your estate personal property to an auction gallery for liquidation: Pros for Auction Gallery Consignment If weather is a concern, you may want to consider consigning your items to an Auction Gallery. Consignments at an Auction Gallery are grouped according to the type of item in order

Estate Auction On-Site

Here are the “pros and cons” of having your estate sale on-site: Benefits of an On-Site Auction: Auctioneers are very competitive lot. It should be an easy job for an executor to find an auction company willing to take the estate liquidation job, and commissions will be competitive. A strong argument for an on-site estate

Estate Liquidation Options

Executors faced with considering estate liquidation options will quickly find that it is their most time-consuming administrative task. Executors who don’t perform their duties could be removed from office by the Probate Judge, so it is important that they single-mindedly pursue disposing of the estate’s property so that the bills can be paid and the

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