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Inheriting a property after a relative passes away is a hugely emotional thing. Not only did they trust you to take care of their things in their absence but you will also have to deal with the emotions that come naturally with grief.
The key thing to remember is that if you can, you should take your time. For example, instead of trying to decide what to do with everything straight away, you could try renting a storage space so that you can go through each item at your leisure. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, just yet.
Here’s where you should start.
3 Easy Steps For How to Deal with an Inherited Property
Change the Locks and Deal with Post and Documents
Your relative may have given keys to all sorts of people from cleaners to neighbors for safekeeping so instead of tracking down each key, it’s much easier to change the locks. You should also start forwarding mail, including emails, so that you don’t accidentally miss something important.
While you are here, you should also search for any legal documents such as home insurance, a will, bills and any financial documents too. This can be a nightmare in a disorganized house so if you aren’t sure if something is important or not – keep it!
Organizing Personal Belongings
Going through someone else’s things will always feel strange. Some things will be easier to go through – the basics like utensils in the kitchen or toiletries – but others will be harder. With this in mind, you might like to start small. Get rid of any trash that’s around and empty out the kitchen cupboards and fridge.
Next, the more personal things.
While some things may already be accounted for in the will, it’s important that other smaller items are fairly distributed. One method is to invite everyone round at the same time and invite them to put post-it notes with their name on the things they would like. There may be some disagreement but you can deal with that later on, when emotions are a little calmer. Put these things into storage for now.
Sell, Charity and Bin
Once everyone has the things they want to keep, you will still have a surprising amount of stuff left. At this point, the emotions may not be as strong so you can be a bit more practical, moving from room to room as you might do when organizing your own home.
Selling what you can might be a good way to fund any additional funeral costs or a gathering of friends and family. Giving other things to charity is a nice way to ensure that they will be useful to someone else. Anything else should simply go in the bin.
Dealing with an inherited property is never easy but if you can plan your approach and try to stay as practical as possible, you’ll find it more manageable. The key is to take your time over the most important things; if you aren’t sure about something, it’s always best to leave it until you are feeling less emotional.