Selling the home of a deceased person can seem overwhelming and most of us consider the idea of passing this very important job off to someone who we feel is more competent. Before you beat yourself up over this, ask yourself this...Do I truly care about this person? Would I want to ensure that his/her final wishes are carried out, honestly?
Assuming that you answered "yes" to these questions, hopefully you now have a renewed sense of determination. It's the unknown that scares most of us, and concentrating on the 'big picture' will eventually overwhelm even the best task managers.
Here's a simple idea. TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME! Start by listing a bunch of questions or thoughts that come to your mind. For example 1. Who has been named as the executor of the estate. 2. Did the deceased have a will? 3. Is there a "Joint Tenant" of the property who is still alive?
These questions alone will start you on a path of discovery in which all of the pieces will come together.
The reason that I have become interested in assisting those put in charge of selling their loved ones home is because I recently lost my dad (and business partner) after a one year battle with cancer. In my case, my step mother was the executor of his estate and had never had the task of managing someone's estate. Although I too had never been an executor, I coached her through the whole process with advise on how to accomplish the several tasks that she was faced with. I helped her break it down into 'bite sized' pieces so that she was able to slowly complete all of the steps necessary.
I believe that with a coach in your corner (that isn't involved in the emotional component of your loss) you can achieve all of your goals in executing the estate of your loved one.
1. One good action that you can take during the 'terminal' phase of a loved one's life (If he or she is still of sound mind) is to find out if the ownership of his/her home is registered as "Tenants in Common" or "Joint Tenants" with anyone else? And possibly change it to suit their current needs. Ask your Lawyer.
2. Ask them if they have a will and record where it is located. Find out how long ago the will was created and judge whether many changes have taken place since and if a revised will should be made. (I.e. the current will may have a sole beneficiary that has since deceased or is of unfit mind themselves).
3. Book an appointment to sit down with an "Estate Lawyer" usually called a "Solicitor" and discuss what is needed in order to satisfy the wishes of the person in question.
4. Sorting and dealing with personal belongings (while the person in question is still of sound mind) will save you time and sorrow in the future. It could also act as a great platform for reminissing about all of the speacial moments you shared (or not) with that person. A good practice is to invite everyone close to the terminal person to attend/help.
5. Familiarize yourself with some of the laws associated with wills, power of attourneys, and estates, at https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/justice-ont/estate_planning.php
More content to follow...please stay tuned.
P.S. Please contact me if you too could use a concerned/helpful coach to assist you now. It will serve to help others as your challenges will help me fill in the blanks of what steps/obstacles one may face while selling the home of a loved one. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct 905-434-0102
Note: This is not to be used as legal advise of any kind. Please consult with your lawyer.