Tips for a Tough Situation:

How to Manage Moving & Real Estate After the Death of a Loved One

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, but it can become even more challenging when you're tasked with handling their estate sale, and all of the belongings they've left behind. Knowing what to do, how to manage the sale, whether to donate, sell, or keep their belongings, and figuring out the trusts and trustees—may not come easily. To lessen your burden, consider working with a real estate agent who possesses unique experience in estate sales and probates.

Let Me Introduce Myself

My name is Kelly Knight-Webster. I'm a longtime Wayne and Oakland County REALTOR® with experience in buying and selling real estate, as well as handling estate sales and probates. My team and I are well-versed in the local real estate market, and we specialize in helping our clients circumvent "information overload." We're here to connect you with the most valuable resources, handle your transaction with ease, and take some of the worry and stress of your estate sale off of you.

In short: we're here to help. Use this page to learn more about estate sales and probates, but if you'd like a more personal experience please don't hesitate to give me a call.

What to Do With Your Loved One's Belongings

There's no easy way to say it: grief is difficult, challenging, and surprising. If possible, have some friends come over to help you out with this process. Throwing away your loved one's belongings, no matter how trivial or everyday, can take its toll on you. Ask for help. Below, you'll find some additional tips for handling the move and packing up of your loved one's stuff.

Keep Sentimental Items, But Hide Them

Talk with your family members and the people who knew your loved one. With matters like this, support is helpful and valuable. Try to sort through their belongings carefully, keeping sentimental items for yourself and your family, and determining the things you don't want or need to keep.

If possible, take some of their items that you want to keep and put them in a box. Store that box in a room you don't go in every day, or consider hiring a storage locker if they have a lot of bulky items like furniture that you'd like to hang on to.

Have Your Friends Throw Away Excess Items

People tend to have a lot of stuff. If the idea of throwing away their old note books, bedroom slippers, or prescription bottles is hard for you, ask your friends to do it for you.

Carefully Sort Valuables

Consult your loved one's will, and determine which of their valuables go to certain family members. If there is a lot of "extra stuff," left over, talk with your family and loved ones. They may want certain keepsakes or sentimental items of their own.

Another tip: if you have a whole lot of stuff to go through and you're not sure where to start, find five boxes and label them: "keep for myself," "keep for others," "discard," "donate," and "sell." Sort things accordingly, asking for help when you need it.

Ask for Help When it Comes to Packing

When it comes to donation drop off, listing items for sale on line, packing valuables away, and everything else, never be afraid to ask your friends or other family members for help.

Probate vs. Estate Sale

When someone passes away, their will is followed to determine what to do with their assets. If they owned a property but didn't leave it to anyone, then typically a probate happens. If the property was left to you and you want to sell it quickly, then an estate sale may be the best option for you.

Handling an estate sale or a probate can be tricky. If you need help deciding how to handle your loved one's former property, please don't hesitate to give us a call. We would love to help walk you through your options to figure out what's best for you.

A Quick Guide to the Probate Process

If you're preparing to go through the probate process after a loved one's passing, there's no reason to be worried! We've broken down the probate process for you into the following four steps.

What is a Probate?

A probate is a process during which a deceased person's debts are settled and their property is transferred to heirs and beneficiaries. The process begins when the executor, who has been named in the deceased individual's will, takes the will to court to request a probate. This must happen in the county where the deceased individual lived and owned property. If no will is available, a spouse or adult child of the deceased must ask the court to name them executor. Then, that individual becomes the legal representative of the deceased's estate.

Give Notice to Heirs

Once a petition has been filed to the probate court, notice of the court's hearing must be given to the deceased's heirs and beneficiaries. This way, if any of the heirs or beneficiaries object to the petition, they may do so in court. The petition and probate will also likely be announced in the local paper.

Set Up a Court Appointment and Give Additional Notice

The executor must provide written notice to any and all creditors of the estate. This way, if a creditor wants to make a claim on the estate's assets, they may do so within the appropriate period of time. During this time, an inventory of all the estate's assets will be taken.

Pay All Estate and Funeral Expenses

All bills of the deceased's must be paid from the estate. This includes outstanding debts and funeral expenses. Depending on the weight of those debts, the executor may be able to sell off assets from the estate to pay.

Transfer the Property's Legal Title

After the proper waiting period has passed, all claims and bills are paid, and everyone of interest has been properly notified, the executor asks the court for authority to transfer any remaining assets based on the deceased's will.

Looking for Additional Support?

My team and I are here to help. We have years of experience handling estate sales and probates, and we'd love to use our extensive skill set to handle your transaction. Give us a call today if you'd like more information about the services we offer!