“What do I do now? I have to settle an estate and have a collector’s house full of furnishings, paintings, collectibles, old computers, phones, and the everyday dishes. Plus, I have questions about insurance and taxes. Do I have to get a legal appraisal? What records do I need? Can I do it alone or do I need attorneys, accountants, and appraisers? How do I price things? Where do I sell things? Can you help?”
The details of settling an estate can be daunting. This is a guide to help you decide where and how to sell. It also addresses legal responsibilities, heirlooms, charities, and how much of your time and effort will be involved.
One word of caution. For the family and friends of the deceased, the emotional toll is the worst part of sorting and selling. Every object and piece of clothing will bring back memories, so don’t be surprised if you have to deal with tears and sadness. It is normal, and it will pass. For information on how to sell a collection or household items, go to our Downsizing Guide. For detailed information on how to sell or buy specific types of objects such as furniture, pottery, glass, toys, etc., go to our specialized Buy and Sell Guides.