Tangible Good

On a recent visit to our local used book store, I came on a copy of Step by Step: Your Guide to Making Practical Decisions When a Loved One Dies. Published by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, it’s a straightforward and surprisingly comforting guide to the practical details of bereavement, from notifying relatives to making funeral arrangements to filing for benefits and transfer of assets.

But as far as I can tell after several readings, it doesn’t make any mention of what to do with the assets that make up the bulk of the personal property, antiques and art inside the home.  And this oversight is a problem I hear over and over again from friends, family and clients when faced with the responsibility of settling an estate.

For many executors, the best way to start is by enlisting professional help.  An experienced appraiser or estate specialist can inventory a household…

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