keeping families together during a difficult time
Helpful hints and places to start
This is a fantastic book to help families decide on a fair way to navigate the distribution of an estate. Often people’s memories become better over time adding to potential estate challenges.
Leaving the home occupied
It’s often overlooked and makes a challenging time much worse, but it needs to be considered. While the funeral is going on, its a good idea to have someone stay at the home to avoid break-ins. Its incredibly unfortunate but break-ins do happen as people read the obituaries for a listing of vacant homes.
Unoccupied and Vacant Home Insurance
Something few families are aware of is how a vacant home affects insurance. If the home is left unattended, the homeowner’s policy won’t provide coverage in the event of a claim during the time it is unoccupied or vacant. As a result, any damages or losses that occur would have to be paid out of pocket. An executor only has 30 days to change the current home policy to reflect vacancy. Not updating the insurance information leaves the estate vulnerable as the home and contents are no longer insured in case of fire flood or theft. Even when the insurance information is updated often the insurer will only cover fire and flood, leaving the contents of the home uninsured. In addition, the cost of vacancy insurance is significantly increased.
We highly recommend changing the locks as soon as possible. This simply alleviates the challenges that can come from what we call “unknown keys” Perhaps a neighbor has a key, a gardener, a housekeeper, a friend, or family that could potentially take items before everyone has had a chance to discuss the disbursement arrangments.