Saturday, February 06, 2010

Coping with "The Boomer Burden"

Julie Hall's book is subtitled "Dealing with Your Parents' Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff."

As soon as I saw it in the Plainfield Public Library, I wanted to read it. I picked it up Thursday night and I can tell you, it is invaluable as a guide to dealing with several important transitions as parents age, decline in health and pass away, possibly leaving an unknown quantity of trash and treasures for the next generation to sort, document, evaluate, share or toss. Hall, also known as "The Estate Lady," draws on her extensive experience with estate liquidation to outline all the pitfalls, be they physical, emotional or even ethical.

My opportunity to use her wisdom passed long ago, when my widowed mother died in 1992.

But my daughter and I often talk about "stuff" and stuff reduction. The last person to deal with all your memorabilia, photographs, furniture, clothing, household goods and valuables may just rent a Dumpster and be done with it, so some pre-planning may be in order.

Hall gives all sorts of tips gleaned from her years of experience, ranging from advice to ditch all the plastic containers hoarded by your boomer to checking odd places where elders may have secreted expensive jewelry, gold coins or currency. Some of them are really odd and the average person would never guess!

As much as I enjoy the latest fiction or biographies acquired by PPL, I appreciate books like this that deal with practical problems in a thoughtful and helpful way.

I will return it next week and then I hope anyone needing such advice will take it out. For more information on Julie Hall and her work, click here.



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