Cleaning out an estate can take a lot of time, patience, and money. There are many decisions that need to be made in order to effectively and efficiently clean out an estate. Here are some ways to help you determine how much an estate cleanout may cost.
After the benefactors and heirs have been determined and an executor of the estate has been named, it is important to identify the assets of the estate.Inventories of the estate may be required and are certainly helpful. The estate assets should be clearly marked and assigned a destination (mail to a family member, take to attorney’s office, hold for benefactor pickup, sell for the estate, etc). The destination of the asset may change as the estate gets closer to closing, but properly marking them is important for identification. Depending upon the size of the estate, this can be the most expensive phase of the cleanout, but generally makes the estate the most money. Costs for identifying, inventorying, and dispensing assets will vary greatly. Many asset identification and relocation costs will range from $2000-$5000.
Another cost of cleaning out an estate is locating and sorting important paperwork. Deeds, wills, titles, insurance policies, etc. should be saved and given to the executor of the estate. Other paperwork, such as electric bills, mortgage, water bills, medical bills, and other bills with account numbers and/or social security numbers should be discussed with the executor. Many times, this paperwork should be properly disposed of. Shredding is an inexpensive option for safely disposing of small or large amounts of paper files. Additionally, most shredding companies can safely dispose of computers and computer hard drives. Shredding companies generally charge by the pound, and some companies have minimum charges. Many estate shredding charges range from $50-$200.
Some items have minimum value, or may cost more to sell or dispose of than they are worth. Donating items is a great way to save money on cleanout costs. Many donation companies can send out a box truck to pick up items from a home to sell at their retail location. However, many companies schedule pickups at least a week in advance and have policies about what they can and cannot pick up. Most companies will allow you to take items to their retail locations if pickup services are not available. Most donation companies do not charge for picking up donations, so using this service can save you time and money.
Disposing of trash and debris can be overwhelming, especially when there is a lot. Estimating the amount of trash and debris at the beginning of estate cleanout takes a lot of skill and experience. Renting a roll-off container can be helpful, but each county regulates the type of material that can go into the container. There can be steep fines for placing items into a container that are not permitted by the container company or landfill. Roll-off container rental rates vary greatly, but many 30 yard containers range from $400 – $600 each and many charge daily rental rates and additional rates per ton of material removed. Taking items to a local dump can save a lot of money, as many dumps are free to residents of the county, but can take an extremely long time. Taking items directly to a landfill may take more time, but may require much fewer trips. Landfills generally charge by the amount of weight and charge different amounts for construction and demolition debris (C&D) and municipal solid waste debris (MSW).
Estate cleanout costs can differ greatly, but these are some great ways to estimate costs when cleaning out an estate.