My generation is sometimes called the “Sandwich Generation”…we have our own kids and also aging parents, and we are often are helping both.
I have been helping clients transition for several years. I hold the Seniors Real Estate Specialists® designation through the National Association of Realtors. I am so glad I have this experience because I am now helping my mother transition from her home of 40 years to an Independent Living facility. The article I recently re-posted on social media about Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff really hit home for me. I hope it can help you also.
So, what have I learned over the years that might help you?
- While it is difficult to have a conversation with our parents about moving to independent living or assisted care, it is one that will likely be necessary at some point. Start talking about it early on, before it is time to make the move.
- When it is time for the move, it may happen really fast! Having some idea of the facilities near you and/or your parent is important. Visit them ahead of time and start eliminating those you don’t like. You will be glad of the time saved when things move quickly.
- If they have a home to sell, what is the current value? Do they or you have a Realtor® who can help you determine that? I help dozens of families every year with an updated market analysis. If you are not in the San Diego area, I can refer you to an excellent agent in your area who specializes in senior moves.
- It is time for you and your siblings to take your “stuff” home with you, the things Mom and Dad have been keeping for you. Take it with you and either keep at your house or dispose of it.
- If your parents have things that will likely sell at a decent price you need to know who the best estate sale companies are in town. What do they charge, how much lead time do they need (most need six to eight weeks minimum)? Will they dispose of everything remaining in the house after the sale?
- Are your parent’s affairs in order? Is there a trust in place and is the designated Successor Trustee available for the sale, if necessary? If there is no trust or the trust has not been revised in many years, now is the time to seek the advice of an estate planning attorney to have a review and make changes if necessary, while your parents are able to make changes.
- If there is a home to sell, open a pre-escrow and pre-title before you put the property on the market. The title company will review the trust documents before issuing title insurance. The trust documents must be in order or you will not be able to close escrow. I have had many transactions with older trusts and a recent Power of Attorney. The title companies have told me many times that “the Trust has priority over a Power of Attorney”. If the trust does not mention a Power of Attorney, they may not accept one, so please seek the advice of an attorney.
- Order a property inspection and wood destroying pest inspection of the home. Provide these documents to agents prior to their making an offer. It makes it much easier to sell a property in “As-Is” condition and without renegotiating halfway through a transaction.
Another great article is about The 4 Boxes Approach to help families start eliminating “stuff”.
If you need a consultation or help with this process just let me know. I would truly be honored to help you.