Guidelines from a Frequent Reader

Here’s some advice–good advice!–from Tischa, who has been working for months to deal with the items she inherited from her parents. Thanks for sharing. 

A lot has to do with the tremendous respect & love I had for my parents. I’ve had a wonderful life full of fabulous experiences all because of them. [And had I tossed things in the trash, I would have imagined my mother over my shoulder yelling, “Oh, no!” lol]

I know most people don’t have as many collectibles/vintage items, but if they do, here’s what I’ve learned:
Children should sit down with their folks and make sure all photographs are labeled. (Parents love to share the memories that go along with the photos.)
If there are a lot of items in the estate, a complete inventory needs to be made while a parent is living and receipts kept together with the inventory list.
Wills need to be very, very specific — no assumptions.
In-laws need to stay home when children are working things out.
When a parent dies, the 1st & easiest place to start is to throw away the underwear and send all the clothes to Salvation Army.
Somewhere, someone might want something that has no value to the heirs. DONATE.
(and saving the most important for last…) Don’t leave this same project behind for your children to go through when you die. [I have 2 sons who won’t want most of my things; so, I’m going to sell things I no longer use — silver, china, jewelry, etc — and give my boys whatever money I get from it.]


About Mary Miley

I was born at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, where my father taught tactics to the cadets, so it's no surprise that my earliest memories are of the Corps drilling on the parade grounds to the rhythm of the Army band. I attended public schools in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and France, then worked my way through the College of William and Mary in Virginia as a costumed tour guide at Colonial Williamsburg, experiencing first hand the pleasures of wearing 18th-century attire during the sweltering summer. After putting my husband through law school selling cheese in Cleveland—aw, come on, it was a recession!—I returned to Williamsburg for a masters degree in history and a full-time job at Colonial Williamsburg, working with antiques and reproductions. It was there that I really learned how to write and how to make history come alive. When my children were young, I left Williamsburg for a thirteen-year stint teaching American history and museum studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and at the same time consulted with museums across the country on matters retail and financial. A free-lance writer since 1986, I have published a dozen nonfiction books and more than 200 magazine articles, most on history, travel, and business topics. During the past few years, I've branched into fiction, writing the first two of a mystery series and a romantic suspense, all set in the 1920s. The first, THE IMPERSONATOR, won the national contest for Best First Crime Novel and was published in 2013 by St. Martin's/Minotaur; its sequel, SILENT MURDERS, came out in 2014. I live in Richmond, Virginia, with my husband, an attorney. My greatest pleasures are traveling, playing the pipe organ with all the stops out, and reading mysteries.

Posted on November 29, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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