Enlisting Help When Probating A Hoarded Estate

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If you are the administrator of an estate in which the decedent was a hoarder, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the amount of work that you'll need to have accomplished in order to probate the estate. Fortunately, you can get some help from residential junk removal services. However, there is one very important thing to keep in mind before you or anyone you hire throws anything away: respect the decedent's wishes. Here's how to accomplish that when you're facing a mound of items.

Know the Will

Before you or anyone you hire can delve into removing junk from the property, you'll need to be able to recognize what items the decedent had listed in his will to pass on to heirs and others, so you can remove those items before anything is discarded during the junk removal process. That way, you won't accidentally throw away something that was supposed to be given to an heir or beneficiary.

Enlist the Heirs

Since the heirs are the only ones who have the legal ability to determine whether or not they would like to keep the possessions or discard them, try to enlist their help in the process of clearing out items from the home. The reason to do this at the same time that the junk removal service is on the property is so all items that are damaged from mold or rodent feces can be safely removed.

Hire an Appraiser

In most hoarded properties, it's difficult to determine just exactly what there may be in the piles of things. Because of this, it's a good idea to hire an appraiser who is well-versed in the particular types of items that the decedent tended to hoard. For example, if the decedent collected dolls, the appraiser should have some experience in evaluating collectable dolls. Sometimes, junk removal services sub-contract evaluation or appraisal services, so check with them before hiring an appraiser yourself to help the estate save money. 

Keep Receipts 

It will cost money and take time to clear out the property. Keep all the receipts that are given to you by the junk removal services and any other contractors so you can submit them to probate court. Depending on the laws of your state and what the will contains, you may be monetarily compensated for your time. For clarity's sake, ask the junk removal service to itemize various aspects of the junk removal services they perform for you.

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