Deceased estate: a personal point of view

Parents are missed forever when they go.

Luckily for me, I was a grown woman when my father died. He stays with me, a reference point of love, of loyalty, and an example of both conformity and individualism. Although I don’t share many of his beliefs, I have chosen to share many of his values. Recognising my Dad’s gifts to me has helped me to treasure him in my life without him.

After Dad’s death, my mother continued living in their home, a farm. When she moved from necessity to a place in town, she was able to leave behind a great deal of her furniture and belongings as our family continued to inhabit the farm. Later, on her final move, only the minimum of belongings could go with her. Her final move to an aged care facility officially recognised the loss of Mum’s essential abilities, those things that give us an autonomous self. I’m fortunate to still see flashes of the essential spirit of my mother from time to time, but her loss is profound.

Lounge room with couch and armchairs, wall of books and lots of objet d'art as you would find in a deceased estate

When the farm was eventually sold, it seemed to be suddenly that I was confronted with dealing with all Mum’s belongings – some of the furniture, and all the paintings, ceramics, photos, documents, jewellery, memorabilia and heirlooms, as well as all the dross, that accumulates over a lifetime. It was like dealing with a deceased estate. It has taken months of my time to wrangle the problem of dealing with these items into manageable shape. Actually sorting, creating an inventory, giving family a say, and finding the right avenues for disposal has been half the battle. The other half is applying myself weekend after weekend, and staying on task once started.

Three lessons I learnt are:

  1. To persevere is to succeed.

2. Significance and value are two very different things: only family can know whether an article is significant or not.

3. It’s really difficult to do this task quickly and well.

As a consequence of this and other experiences I am now involved with Canard Solutions, a personal asset assistance organisation, with the brief to help others short-circuit the logjam of managing the tasks I have already wrangled with. As well as straight downsizing and moves, we help families and executors dealing with deceased estates. The team at Canard Solutions understands that dealing with a deceased estate is taxing to families, and that families have different ways of dealing with the load as our testimonials demonstrate. Occasionally family is content to let everything go; more often we work with the family to identify or to find significant belongings. Our aim is to reduce the workload for our clients as far as possible.

If you need help, call us on 03 9013 8034.

Window with 2 vases of flowers and white ceramic coffee pot in the centre at a deceased estate