I told my wife that the url for my new blog was going to be “downsizing-mom.com”. She grimaced and I got “the look”. “Downsizing Mom”? she said; “sounds like a weight loss blog”.
She’s right, in a sense. Throughout our lives, we tend to accumulate “stuff”. Clothes, furniture, appliances, vehicles. We surround ourselves with the things we love. Our “stuff” reflects who we are. As the years go by, “stuff” accumulates. We become “overweight” with our “stuff”.
Eventually, we have to get rid of the bulk of what we have accumulated, whether we want to or not. A spouse dies. We grow old and cannot take care of our home. An injury makes us less mobile. We know that the time has come to make a move that will improve our quality of life. At that point, the “stuff” we have accumulated becomes a burden. We are faced with decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. The very thought of packing up a lifetime of memories can be so overwhelming that we often become paralyzed and choose to “stay right where we are”. If we are lucky, we get to make the transfer decisions ourselves. If not, the decisions will pass to our children or executor.
Downsizing and/or liquidating an estate is emotionally draining, but it does not have to be a traumatic experience. The keys to success are advance planning and an organized approach. With that in mind, the focus of my future posts will be threefold:
- Pre-planning for personal property transfers
- How to downsize effectively
- Estate Liquidation
Family dynamics will change from family to family. There is no “one size fits all” solution for estate transfers. As we move forward, I hope to hear from some of you. What challenges have you faced in liquidating a loved ones estate? Have you found effective ways to deal with the anxiety? What professionals have you found to be helpful or troublesome?
Somewhere, there is a family whose challenges are just like yours. If solutions can be shared through this blog, we will all benefit.
Originally posted 2009-10-15 17:27:00.