San Diego Probate Real Estate
and Personal Belongings – Part One
Experience shows almost every adult child will someday face a parent’s mortality. When that happens, they inherit the contents of that parent’s San Diego probate real estate household. They inherit the lifetime of accumulations and then they say “what am I going to do with all this stuff?” The accumulation of parental items is frequently a lot because we’ve never been more blessed with so much… and that leads to overwhelmed for the person who’s responsible for the estate of a loved one.
San Diego probate clients have shared with me how they get waylaid by emotion and the responsibility for wanting to do the right thing with their parent’s lifetime of treasures and possessions. Naturally everyone wants to respect their parent’s belongings, honor of their lives, and be a good steward of their assets. At the same time, the reality is that we all have a house full of our own things. But, most older parents want to gift their children with the lifetime of hard work that created assets, and they also don’t want to overburden their children with their house full of things.
This creates a question of what should be bestowed and kept, and what is simply stuff that becomes a burden.
No one wants to hear their loved one’s items called clutter. Because is not clutter, it’s the worldly belongings of a person. When an adult child is tasked with the dismantling of their parent’s home, and their parents have passed away, it can become very emotionally difficult to know where to start. Most people
pass without having had serious conversations with their family about their belongings and the adult children can get bogged down with wondering what Mom or Dad would have wanted them to do. Most people including our parents, hang on to their belongings because of emotional and physical inertia, some out of avoidance of making the decisions of limiting personal belongings, and some with the false belief that they will hand them down to the next generation when the next generation really don’t have a need for most of their parent’s belongings.
Before the 1950s there were generations that had scarcity of ”things” and this created a nation full of thrifty people. Not a bad thing to be thrifty, but shortly thereafter consumerism began to boom. We began to have a steady supply of inexpensive household goods that began to fill our homes, closets, garages and sheds, overflowing into the attics and basements of homes. A whole new industry was built on consumerism. We now have people that their businesses are helping other people with clutter and getting organized. Even creating a National Association of Professional Organizers! We have TV shows and books all devoted to the issue of having and holding on to too much stuff.
Do you remember when we had a single-family photo album or a box of photos and now we have photo albums of mere events? My second grandchild was recently born and I was so very happy that I went online and created a photo book of his first 48 hours on earth. It’s a lovely photo album, and it was a labor of love to create it for my daughter and her family, but it’s another thing in my daughter’s home.
I remember sitting in the family room with my three siblings watching television on our one and only TV. Today people have five TVs in their homes, some too big for me to move on my own. Everyday items that were once hard to come by i.e. clothing dishes, tools, bedding, are now easy to get and for many, hard to let go.
Then we add to the mix that we are all living much longer, we all have much fuller houses, full of all the things that bring us comfort and make us proud of the life we’ve created. This is creating a snowball effect that happens when someone passes away and leaves a piece San Diego probate real estate, their full house moves to someone else’s full house. It’s difficult enough to handle our own homes belongings, but when we add our parent’s personal property along with all the memories that come with that personal property, it can ultimately be overwhelming. So, what’s the problem, and is there a solution?
The San Diego probate real estate is loaded with belongings, but also with memories. You start to clean it out and five minutes into it you trip over a memory. The family home is filled with relics that represent a lifetime of storied treasures. The pictures alone could take days to stroll through, laugh and cry, remembering the things that happened through the decades of the family being a family. You’ll find dresses used for special occasions, military metals, the special jewelry that Mom wore at the holidays. And mounds and mounds of documentation; some that’s important and some that is not important.
Sorting through it all is physically, mentally and emotionally overwhelming. Figuring out how to do it right is the goal. Taking the journey of clearing out a loved one’s home of five decades can be manageable. Having the right help is key. Also, having the right plan of action is necessary. It’s not for the faint of heart to go through everything and find out what matters, what to keep, what to sell, and what to simply let go of. I’m not to go into the details of what your plan can be in this article, I’m just telling you that it can be manageable. My team and I are here to provide good information, help you get a plan that works for you, in your timeline, with empathy and even a few moments of understanding laughter.