My father has two siblings in their 80s who both live some distance from us. My uncle lives in a retirement home, and disposed of most of his furniture and other belongings himself before moving there. But my aunt still lives on her own in a one-bedroom apartment in New York.
She’s doing just fin now, but when she dies, we’ll have to take care of all of her stuff: furniture, books, clothing, kitchenware, etc., very little of which will be passed on to the family (which essentially consists of my father, my sister, and me). We intend to make sure we get her photos, jewelry, and other family memorabilia, and we may take a few books or record albums, but the rest of her modest estate will be of no use to us.
What are our options for quickly and efficiently disposing of all this property, assuming that we don’t want to take the time and hassle of trying to sell it on eBay or Craigslist? As far as we know, none of it is particularly valuable. Since we all live four hours away from NYC, we’ll want to get it all taken care of as quickly (and with as little hard labor on the part of my 78-year-old dad and me) as possible.
Can we call up the Salvation Army or Amvets or some similar organization and say, “Come take it all away”? Do we have to pack things up ourselves before they come, or will they handle that, too?
I know there are companies called estate liquidators, but from a little Googling I get the sense that they may not be exactly what we’re looking for. For instance, I don’t think an on-site auction is an option.
Dad already has her power of attorney and all the details of her bank accounts, and so forth. This thread is just about the physical stuff.
Can you folks offer any advice for how to handle this? How should we prepare in advance, and what pitfalls should we avoid? Thanks.