Legal Guidance From Attorneys Who Care

Should “Swedish death cleaning” be a component of your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2022 | Estate Planning

If you have never heard of the rather morbidly named practice of Swedish death cleaning, it is the practice of ridding your home of extraneous clutter and unwanted junk as you near the anticipated end of your life. Sometimes, the process begins when the person receives a terminal diagnosis. Advanced age can also be a catalyst for the purge.

The motivation for Swedish death cleaning is to straighten out your affairs and home as much as is possible to ease the burden for your next of kin when you pass away. Let’s explore how it is done.

Just another block to tick

Florida residents hopefully have begun at least basic estate planning that includes a will, a power of attorney and a health care directive. Consider adding Swedish death cleaning to your list as another task to tick off on your estate-planning bucket list.

Which areas to target?

If you have any items, photos or mementos that you would not want your next of kin to discover after your death, it’s a good idea to get rid of them now. Discard things like old love letters or intimate items that could make your adult children or grandchildren uncomfortable.

Purge your closet next

Many people hold onto clothing that they haven’t worn in years. They are out of style and likely no longer fit. Toss them!

Erase digital footprints

Do a deep dive into your computer’s hard drive and see what is stored on there. Much of that might be useful to your heirs, like bank account numbers and passwords, so make sure that your next of kin can access what they need after you pass on. For any other things you have stored on your computer that you don’t want seen by prying eyes, hit the delete button.

Share your treasures now

Gift your loved ones with your special treasures while you can witness their appreciation. Enjoy this moment with them they will surely remember.

Review your estate planning documents regularly

Things change. People divorce. Beneficiaries may predecease you. That’s why you and your estate planning professional should periodically review your estate plan to make sure that it still fits your needs.