What you need to know about holding an Estate Sale

by | Feb 1, 2016 | With Your Family in Mind

When a person passes away, an estate sale is one way to dispose of possessions the beneficiaries no longer want or need.  An estate sale company will take care of selling furniture jewelry and other belongings for a percentage of the proceeds – usually from 25 to 50 percent.  The company will handle sorting the goods, staging the house, setting prices, promoting the sale and hiring workers.  There may be a separate fee for cleaning up.  Goods that are not sold are usually donated to charity.
To get ready for an estate sale, the first step is to ensure you have the legal right to sell the property.  There cannot be any unresolved estate issues and estate sale companies may request legal documentation showing you have the right to dispose of the goods.
Before you hire an estate sale company, you should do some research.  You can search the website of the American Society of Estate Liquidators, a trade association that requires its members to meet certain education requirements and abide by an ethics code.  You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau, ask for references or attend a sale run by the company.
Many companies do not want families to be present while the sale is going on, so make sure you remove anything you want to keep before the sale starts.
Do not throw away too much in advance – remember, one person’s idea of trash might be another person’s treasure!
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration.  She can be reached at 661-294-6464. 

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