Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates


As any California resident can tell you, it is never easy to deal with the emotional and legal aftermath of a loved one's death. You may gain an inheritance after your parents pass on, which first goes through the probate process. You may be glad to receive cherished heirlooms that belonged to your parents and grandparents, as well as clothing, jewelry, vehicles and other possessions. These items may hold happy memories for you, regardless of their financial value. However, you might not want everything that has been passed down to you from your parents, but it could seem disrespectful simply to give or throw these things away.

The answer may be to hold an estate sale. You may have seen announcements for estate sales in your local paper or online local events page. HowStuffWorks explains that estate sales are like upscale yard sales, but they work rather differently. They are usually held by heirs after someone dies, although beneficiaries may also have an estate sale when a loved one has been incapacitated and has permanently moved to a hospice center or assisted living facility. Estate sales give beneficiaries the chance to pass unwanted or unneeded items to a new home.

Traditionally, an estate sales agent handles the event, ensuring the items are priced appropriately and treated with respect by potential buyers. If you decide to hold an estate sale, you may gain peace of mind knowing that your parents' possessions will go to appreciative new owners. As this topic can be complex, the information in this post is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012