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Emotional Assistance for Dealing with a Loved One’s Estate

Emotional Assistance for Dealing with a Loved One’s Estate

By Julie Hall for the NABBW

Julie HallAmidst the chaos of tending to a loved one\’s needs — the constant worry, personal pain, making the right decisions, remembering the countless details of each day, phone calls, doctors appointments, dotting the “i\’s” and crossing the “t\’s,” dealing with family members, and every other imaginable challenge — it\’s no wonder we have a tendency to lose ourselves, or at the very least, feel lost. Some may even feel they are on the brink of snapping emotionally and this is not out of the norm.

If your loved one is still living, but you have come to the inevitable crossroads of making difficult decisions about assisted living, long-term care, etc., the emotional pressure and exhaustion can be enormous to see everything is well planned and carried out.

Challenging as it may be, especially with the loved one\’s refusal to go along with the best possible choice for them and their situation, we know we have to make the best choice for them and then live with that choice. Often guilt can accompany these difficult decisions, especially if these decisions went against the will of the loved one.

Family members, too, will have differing opinions than you do, which further adds to the stress, confusion, and frustration. It also fuels some mighty powerful fights.

If your loved one has died and you are left to contend with the estate and all that goes with it, many of my clients have told me that it\’s now “Prozac time.”

It is said with a bit of humor, but they mean it. They walk into the family home for the first time and their brain betrays them with dozens of intense thoughts at once:

  • Where do I begin? There\’s so much stuff!
  • What was she thinking, keeping all of this? What do we do with it?
  • Is there anything of value in here?
  • Will the heirs fight over this?
  • Should we sell, donate, keep?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are answers to all of these questions, and solutions to be had, by hiring the right professionals in the estate industry. When it comes to dealing with the contents of an estate, one can feel it is a surreal experience.

Suddenly you find yourself in need of direction and guidance. Sometimes you just need a strong shoulder or a willing ear. This can come in the form of a best friend, trusted sibling, counselor, or a therapist, which I would highly recommend to keep you on track and healthy.

  • Eating right, staying hydrated, moderate exercise, and sleep are paramount.
  • Prayer or meditation is necessary for spiritual well-being.
  • Do little things along the way to maintain stability: get your hair done, eat that chocolate bar, put on your favorite CD and listen to it as long and as often as you want. Music elevates mood!
  • Crying is also good to purge the myriad of emotions swirling around inside you.

You may need assistance from an estate planning attorney along the way. A true professional in estate liquidation will guide you through the process and help to ease the burden by dealing with all the tangible assets in the estate. He or she can also help decipher what should be sold, donated, discarded, or kept by the family.

Make sure all of these professionals have appropriate experience, credentials, and training to be the best possible help to you. They, too, are valuable resources that shouldn\’t be overlooked. Exercise caution when fees seem too cheap, or it\’s someone who “dabbles” in estates. Dabbling is dangerous! Get the BEST professionals and the process will flow smoothly because they know what they are doing.

This is a heavy burden to carry and you should ask for help. Remember to document, ask questions, get multiple opinions, and seek out the help of a few trusted professionals to smooth this bumpy road. The really good professionals are worth their weight in gold. As mom always says, “This too shall pass,” and it will. It\’s just a difficult pill to swallow. Millions of us are going through this at the exact same time. Take comfort in knowing that it will get done. Keep your sights on the end result.

copyright 2011, The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, known as The Estate Lady, is an estate expert specializing in personal property. With more than nineteen years experience, she has assisted thousands of individuals in the daunting and often painful process of managing their deceased parents\’ affairs.  She is a best-selling author and speaker to Boomers and their parents. Email Julie at: Julie@theestatelady.com

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