In an estate sale, personal property in an estate is sold off at auction. These sales are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. There are a couple of groups of people who can take advantage of this trend.
Often when people inherit an estate, it comes with lots of tangible personal property that has little sentimental value. It is just a lot of stuff that has to be dealt with.
Instead of keeping it or throwing it away, more and more people are holding estate sales.
The New York Times recently published an article titled "Managing Estate Sales Becomes Big Business," which documents this interesting trend.
Obviously, estate administrators and those who inherit estates can take advantage of an estate sale to get rid of estate property that is not wanted. However, elderly people can take advantage of this trend as well.
If a couple is looking to retire either to another state or a retirement home, they can sell their estate before it becomes an estate. The proceeds of the estate sale can be used for living expenses or even made a part of an estate plan. It becomes a way of disposing of your estate before your heirs have to do it.
Of course, you may not want to include all of your possessions in an estate sale. Valuable heirlooms and other items of value should be handled differently in your estate plan.
An estate sale is just one way of helping to manage things. It is not a substitute for a complete estate plan and, for that, you should engage the services of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Reference: New York Times (March 11, 2015) "Managing Estate Sales Becomes Big Business."