Preparing to Downsize your Life
A friend’s mother recently turned 70 this last week. She is in great health and spirits and very independent. She still lives in the home that she raised her children in, and that she shared with her loving husband before he passed away. She has decided that her home is just too big for her needs and has decided to buy a smaller condo that will require less maintenance and allow her to focus on what she thinks is important: spending time with family, and playing bingo with her friends.
She is quite prepared for the future, and has all of the necessary documents prepared for the distribution of her worldly wealth and possessions someday in the future. Yet now she is downsizing and will be giving out some of the items in her will before her will is executed.
A will doesn’t become active until the person has passed away and would only then apply to the items owned at death. Now, one thing to consider is that not all families work together in the event of a death in the family, and some might get cranky if things are not there to be given out when the will is executed. For this reason, she might want to have a list of the gifts that she made included with her will.
Along with downsizing sometimes comes the need to sell items. It is perfectly acceptable for an estate sale to be held while the person is still alive. Some estate sale experts beg that you call the sale what it is. If for this sale you pull some items into the driveway and welcome people to visit that space it is a yard/garage sale. If you open up the entire home and welcome browsing then it is an Estate Sale. Estate sales, while that person can be involved, can be a great idea because he or she most likely knows the rough value of their items and you may not need an assessor to come in and price the items. Also, it allows for that person to go through their stuff with family members and explore their history with their descendants. Even better, it hopefully will create a stress free atmosphere with dealing with the years and years of stuff that they have collected.