Settling An Estate

Theresa Cashman
September 10, 2020

About 2 weeks ago, I got a call. An estate planning attorney I’d met last year was on the other end. “My client’s brother died in April. With all the Covid craziness, this is the first opportunity she’s had to come out to Denver to settle the estate. He’s got a LOT of stuff in that apartment. Can you help?”

I get these calls a lot. The situation is dire. We’re short on time and there’s a HUGE quantity of items to sift through. In this case, the surviving family member, Beth, needed to select which items she wanted to keep as mementos of her brother, which to send to other friends or family members, and which to sell, donate, or trash. The space was very disorganized, but we knew he was a music collector, so there were bound to be some gems mixed in with the junk.

We set to work the following day and had 5 in-person sessions together over the coming week. Beth did an INCREDIBLE amount of work, sifting through boxes and boxes of old baseball cards, clothes, books, and albums. I was honored to help guide her process; directing her attention to items that could fetch a price, determining where donations would get their best use, and supporting her through her feelings of grief and overwhelm.

When someone dies, our grief can be devastating. Settling an estate doesn’t have to add physical, emotional, and economic burdens to our family. Whenever possible, I advocate for individuals to do the work now, while you have choice and control, to save your family from this weight. Please reach out if you’d like further resources on this topic. I love to help!