Parting with a loved one is a tough ordeal for any family. But throw in the complexities of dealing with the Estate afterwards and it can add untold levels of stress and financial duress to even a well prepped Estate Sale. Especially if environmental issues have not been properly addressed
What Enviro Issues? I Feel Fine.
Talk to any family member and they will most likely recount decades of family memories of playing in that mold infested basement, sword fights as kids with lengths of asbestos pipe wrap, re-waterproofing those leaking basement walls every spring to helping Dad fill in that swamp (or old septic system) in the backyard. But today’s homeowners realize that what was acceptable years ago may not be acceptable today (and actually might harm your health or the health of your environment).
Common Issues That Surface During an Estate Sale
Some of the most common issues to watch out for involve impacts to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Mold is a biggie; Cigarette Smoke Damage; Water Damage; Drainage issues; Structural Decay; Asbestos pipes, roof, siding, etc.; Lead Based Paint; Vapor Intrusion from Contaminated Groundwater (TCE/PERC). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to monitor the health of key aspects of our environment. And IAQ is of particular concern as this is where we spend most of our time. It is unfortunate that with the advent of modern day building materials and the off-gassing associated with them that our indoor air quality can be some of the most polluted air we come in contact with.
How Could Enviro Issues Affect the Estate Transfer Process?
Depending on the enviro issue at hand, the effects can hinder the estate transfer process (sometimes taking years to resolve). Take for instance a leaking Underground Storage Tank (UST). That can take years to resolve if groundwater has been impacted. A good environmental investigator will spot the signs of a historic UST (Even if Dad took it out on his own years ago). Mold infestation can degrade IAQ to such a point that you physically can’t breathe in the home which will turn off just about any interested buyer (no matter what story you tell them). Addressing these issues before dissolving the estate will make the entire process move along so much smoother and more cost-effectively.
What Types Of Properties Have The Most Enviro Issues?
It really depends on the home. Whether its a Waterfront Home, an Urban Condo, a Rural Farm or just Vacant Land; every property is unique and has its own unique set of environmental issues. The Waterfront Home could have dock, bulkhead and Tidelands issues; The Urban Condo could be impacted by a Known Contaminated Site (KCS); the Rural Farm could have pesticied issues and their breakdown components (like lead, arsenic and heavy metals); where a vacant piece of land could have wetlands or been the source of illegal dumping.
What’s The Best Executor I Should Have for My Estate?
Executors take many different forms: attorneys, accountants, bankers, church elders, close family friends, or even family members. The challenge becomes when an estate is managed by “Committee.” A diverse team of experts that includes an attorney, accountant, realtor, financial advisor, and environmental expert with one dedicated “executor” seems to work best.
What’s The Best Way To Address Today’s Environmental Issues?
Like the Boy Scout Motto says: Be Prepared! Stay involved with your estate and make preparations now for a seamless transfer. So many folks get overwhelmed with family issues later that they often can’t get the best price for their biggest asset or can’t sell it at all due to environmental issues that could have been prevented. Don’t let that happen to you and your heirs.
Have Some Enviro Questions About Your Estate?
Give GreenWorks a call. They are experienced at addressing Estate Issues and can give you the answers you are looking for. Besides, they live at the cutting edge of where your home environment collides with the natural one and are experts at using simple, sound science to create affordable solutions to just about any environmental issue. Or Listen to a recent radio broadcast with the Author on WOBM with Novy & Associates’ “Inside the Law” Radio Show.
“psssst – check out this Estate. The Owner can’t sell untill this crawl space is restored (but there’s no money)”
Got Moisture, Odor and Mold Issues?