An executor or estate trustee role can feel like a spinning-plates act: juggling stacks of paperwork, convoluted financial processes, grieving beneficiaries, funerary arrangements and more. On top of all of that, you may yourself be grieving; often, the deceased names a close friend or relative as their executor.
Therefore, when it comes time to clear the home – as part of the estate settlement process and to prepare the home for sale – it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Estate cleanout represents one last gargantuan task atop the many duties and responsibilities of an executor or trustee. For this reason, many executors turn to estate cleanout services for aid.
In this article, we attempt to define the ideal estate cleanout services. If you’re in a position to hire estate cleanout services, consider the qualities below as you begin your search.
Compassion and Empathy
The gold standard here is compassionate estate cleanout services. Estate cleanouts are not slapped together overnight. They aren’t quick and expedient, nor do they cut corners. The items comprising an estate carry real emotional weight for loved ones, and an estate cleanout service needs to know how to handle these items with care and respect.
An exemplary estate cleanout company starts from a place of empathy and will work with you (the executor) and loved ones to determine what’s best for each item. In conversation with invested parties, they will allocate items to keep, donate, sell and – in some cases – discard.
A Knowledge of Sensitive Materials
Likewise, an estate cleanout service must know how to spot and isolate sensitive materials. Sensitive materials come in several forms in an estate cleanout. They may include:
● Memorabilia: Items that may appear ordinary but, in fact, carry emotional significance to the deceased and their family.
● Important documents: Paperwork and objects critical to the executor’s estate settlement work.
● Hazardous items: electronics, pesticides, paints, medications, etc., that need to be disposed of safely and/or discreetly.
● Private items: love letters, diaries and other personal items that the deceased had not intended for circulation, even among loved ones. (This is sometimes called a “throwaway box”)
A quality estate cleanout service understands what to do with each of these categories, and approaches each sensitive item with tact and know-how.
A Working Understanding of Real Estate
Typically, an executor will hire an estate cleanout company with an eye toward preparing the home for sale. As such, it pays to find a company with a working understanding of real estate sales. While it is (usually) the listing agent’s responsibility to stage the home, the cleanout services should know how to prepare a home for staging.
Experience and Positive Reviews
It’s all well and good to have criteria in mind as you start your search. But how can you tell if you’re hiring a compassionate, discreet, knowledgeable estate cleanout service? What concrete evidence can you use to guide the hiring process?
Look at experience and testimonials. How long has the company offered estate cleanout services? How many families, executors and trustees have they dealt with throughout the years? Finally, check their HomeStars ratings or Facebook page ratings and read through comments to determine their level of client satisfaction.
If you are an executor or estate trustee, quality estate cleanout services can be a godsend. Keep the qualities above in mind as you embark on your search.