Finding Your Way with Grace Through Change and Loss

 As we age change is inevitable weather it be dealing with illness, moving, downsizing or death. With these changes come emotions and details – anxiety, grief, memories then possessions, and possibly legal complications.

 While these changes are occurring you may feel you are in limbo; your brain has shut down, you are in a state without rules or direction – breathe, get help, go slow, and write everything down.

 Friends and family want to help, let them! They can run errands, handle arrangements and keep track of receipts. Ask for and accept support.

 Then there are the issues of family dynamics, distance, siblings, finances, who gets what etc.  Remember what is important, the details can be work out. Make a plan, include all involved, agree on a strategy, and honor the grief. If you burst into tears, it probably means it’s important.

 The sheer volume of household contents can cause paralysis and lead to procrastination. Professional organizers can assist and have expertise and resources to make this daunting task less intimidating.

 Documentation and valuation are required for tax deductions.

 Donation agencies have guidelines on what they accept and where they pick-up.

 Liability is your responsibility; work with companies that are insured.

 There are different types of appraisals, get the right type. Do not sell to the same person who appraises it.

 Going through the office is a process – categorize, sort, decide.

 When getting the house ready for sale, determine what is best for your situation. Make a decision to sell the house “as is” or for top value. Top value means cleaning, repairing, staging. Consider if you have the energy and resources to take on all those challenges.

 If a death is involved there are the daunting complications of probate. Talk with an attorney. Although they handle the legal part of the process, it is up to the PR/Executor to get information to them timely. If you are not familiar with the process or can’t make calls during business hours, hire someone to assist you.

 You are not in this alone and help is available!

 Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Lou Riverso of Estate Solutions.  She may be reached at 303-455-7010   or by e-mail For more information visit Estate Solutions on the web at