It’s critical to be organized and prepared for the somber but necessary task of cleaning out a parent’s home.
- Step 1: Sort essentials according to what can still be utilized. Toss old medicine and food, and discard cleaners that can no longer be pried open.
- TIP: Be wary of relatives who claim rights and properties.
- Step 2: Prepare the house for sale, washing and painting walls, floors, and cabinets. Tidy up the yard and go about selling it as you would your own.
- FACT: Did you know? During the recession of 2009, more people stashed cash at home, even though the risk of burglary is higher than the risk of a bank failure.
- Step 3: Save the deceased’s address book in case you ever have to contact friends and acquaintances.
- Step 4: Search every jar, coffee can, shoebox, and back cupboard. You never know where parents might have stashed money or valuables.
- Step 5: Contact credit agencies to inform them of the death and pay any outstanding bills, beginning with the IRS, funeral home, and healthcare providers.
- Step 6: Inventory and divide belongings among siblings and other primary relations who might want certain items to use or as a keepsake. Donate what’s left to charity.
- TIP: If your other parent is still alive, allow them to grieve. Ask their permission to begin cleaning things out.
- Step 7: Locate the homeowner’s policy and shred anything you don’t need. Collect bank account information, stocks and bonds, receipts, insurance, and the will.