When a family member passes away, the executor of the will or personal representative appointed to handle the estate is given the task of clearing out all the personal belongings in the home before it can be put on the market to sell. This can be a daunting and stressful experience, which is why it is helpful to have a Probate Real Estate Advisor involved in the process, who can give valuable guidance and information to ease the burden.
What usually is not known are the many places that seniors have used to store cash or valuables in case of an emergency, since many had parents who lived through the depression or knew someone who did. Even if a senior family member is planning to downsize or move to assisted living, these places should be checked before ever selling the home.
According to a recent article in AARP magazine, there are several areas that should be checked for cash, valuable jewelry, gold coins, and even dividend checks!
Toilet tanks are a common place to find something taped inside the lid or stuffed in a water-proof container; stand alone freezers might have cash frozen in plastic sandwich bags; and just like in the movies, often there are hollowed-out dictionaries or Bibles or bills stashed in the pages of other books. Some have even used empty cereal boxes or coffee cans. Never toss out clothing before checking the pockets or lining of jackets, and always look in shoe or cigar boxes. Remember the night stands or vanities with a false bottom portrayed in movies? Well, some people even have those which are the perfect hideaway for valuable jewelry.
Not everyone will have valuables packed away, but it is always wise to check and perhaps discover those “hidden treasures.” It could be a pleasant surprise for everyone!