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What Do Your Heirs Want and What Is Just Clutter?

Many in Sweden follow a process, known as death cleaning, to get rid of possessions before they become part of an estate.

Sweden has a tradition that handles the disposal of a lifetime of clutter, according to the New York Post in "Swedish death cleaning is the morbid new way to de-clutter your life."

Most people have many random things in their homes that they have accumulated over the years. After a lifetime of acquiring possessions some have a value or a use while other things just accumulate and create clutter, such as old clothes in closets that are decades out of fashion. It can even be documents from old seminars.

It is not a big problem for most people to have this stuff around the house, but someone is going to have to clean it out eventually. It often falls on family members, after the person who accumulated the stuff passes away.

However, as people grow older in Sweden, they begin an intentional process of thinking about whether they still need the things they have accumulated. If they do not and they do not want to leave the items for their heirs to deal with, then they gradually begin to get rid of the items.

This is called dostadning, or death cleaning in English. It is not a one-time deal. It is something that people do over the course of their lives, often beginning when they are as young as 50.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances, including the distribution of your possessions.

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