E338 Should I Sell my Home Before I Die?

E338 Should I Sell My Home Before I Die?

This is a very common question that we get from Solo Agers. We’ll review the pros and cons of making that decision.

Reasons to sell your home before you die

Reasons to sell your home before you die
The biggest reason Solo Agers want to sell their home before they die is because they don’t want to leave a mess for their loved ones. Otherwise, there may be a lot of cleaning, maintenance, and packing for the heirs to do. Additionally, the house may need renovations before it is in sellable condition.
Another reason is that Solo Agers may want to downsize anyway. Downsizing is a different topic, so we won’t focus on that here.

Reasons to leave selling your home to your executor after you die

Reasons to leave selling your home to your executor after you die
I often suggest that our Solo Agers live where they want and leave the task of selling the home to the executor after they pass.
Don’t spend your final years cleaning, packing, staging, and moving if that’s not what you want to do. It’s probably not on your bucket list to clean out your garage before you die. Do those things you always wanted to do. Enjoy life!
If you still feel that obligation to put things in order for your heirs, please know that probate is a mess no matter what. Don’t bother trying to leave it perfect. What if you clean out your home and you live longer than you expected? Now a new mess will accumulate. Even if you could know the exact date of your death, it still won’t work out perfectly.
Another example of “helping” heirs is making treasure maps to your keys or passwords. Don’t do it. You may move your keys or change your password and forget to update your treasure map. You don’t need to spend your final days and years making your death convenient for everyone else.
If you are still worried about burdening your heirs or executor, you could hire a professional executor. This could be us, or a bank, or a fiduciary company. It is the job of the professional executor to handle the cleanout, renovations, etc. Because we do these things so often, it’s not a big deal for us. And if something complex were to happen, then that’s our job, too. That’s what we get paid for. You can rest knowing that your professional executor is experienced and capable. You won’t have to burden your heirs with the tasks, and you won’t have to spend your final years worrying about what will happen after you die.
Most Solo Agers are relieved when they learn that a professional executor can handle all of this. My book, “The Solo Ager Estate Plan,” can help you decide which tasks (if any) you should worry about before you die.
I enjoy meeting more and more Solo Agers; it’s a growing population. As I work with them, I also learn a lot of things that I can pass along to all of you.

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