If you are approaching a certain age and have amassed a sizable amount of belongings and property in your life, then chances are you either have already talked to your loved ones about downsizing, or you plan to have the discussion soon. If you are still in the latter camp, you might be wondering how best to broach the topic, how to determine which belongings will go where and whether you could use the help of an estate appraiser in Maryland.
We know that this is an important issue that many Americans are currently facing, which is why we put together this useful guide. Read on to learn more about the downsizing process, and for tips on how best to go about it.
Approaching the issue
Whether you plan to sell your house, start giving away your valuables, or just want to finally clear out the garage, downsizing can be emotional for the families involved, because it signifies the end of an era and the beginning of something new and unfamiliar. The best way to approach the topic with your loved ones is to be honest and direct, but also gentle. Take some time to think about your reasons for downsizing, and make sure all of them are crystal clear for your loved ones.
Once you have approached the issue, know that some of your loved ones might have complicated feelings at first. Remember to hold firm, and do not let these emotions sway you in either direction. You should not feel obligated to hold onto your house for your child’s comfort, nor give into your grandchild’s request for jewelry when you had planned to give it to someone else.
Knowing what to keep and what to discard
Figuring out what to keep, give away and discard altogether is difficult, but one way to make it easier is to know which questions to ask yourself. “What would I replace if everything was gone?” “Whom would I give this to if I was not afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings?” and “Do I feel that each loved one is getting a fair share of my possessions?” are all good ways to help crystallize your choices.
When giving away one’s belongings, it is easy for tension to build over a perceived slight, be it emotional or financial. Having an estate appraiser in Maryland on hand to determine the true value of your possessions will help keep mistakes and misunderstandings to a minimum.
How to discard
Once you have figured out what to give away and what to keep, you will likely have some items that fit into neither category. Rather than simply throwing these things away, try and make the most of them by selling them, or donating them to charity and using the receipt as a tax write-off. Your estate appraiser can also help with figuring out the value of these items, which will help you to accurately price them.
For more information about downsizing, please give Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC a call anytime.