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What is Swedish death cleaning?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Estate Planning |

When you’re making your estate plans, addressing bank accounts and other major possessions is usually pretty easy. You’re only talking about money (or things that can easily be liquidated).

But, what about all the rest of your stuff? If you’re like most people, you have a lifetime collection of things – many of which hold special memories for you but not so much for your heirs. Once you’re gone, they may have to make painful decisions about what to do with your household items, mementos and other personal things.

Swedish death cleaning, or “döstädning,” could make it easier on them – and you. Essentially, this process involves actively downsizing your possessions and getting rid of things you don’t need or don’t use. It can involve donating a lot of unused items, throwing out things you can’t imagine anybody wanting and passing on precious items to your heirs while you’re still alive.

Why have so many people embraced Swedish death cleaning?

This concept has been increasingly embraced by the 50-and-older crowd in recent years, largely because it can:

  • Simplify your life: Getting rid of things you no longer need or want can be a liberating experience. It can help you feel more in control of your surroundings and make your daily life less overwhelming.
  • Reduce stress for loved ones: You can help reduce the stress and emotional burden on your loved ones by deciding what is worth keeping and what’s better to donate or throw away before you’re gone.
  • Ensure your wishes are respected: If you pass on cherished items now to the people you want to have them, it can help avoid conflicts and misunderstandings among family members later.
  • Help you downsize for a move: If you’re planning to move to a smaller home or retirement community, this is a great way to simplify your possessions before the move.

Ultimately, good estate planning is a gift to your loved ones – and is an ongoing process. Learn more about your legal options today to get started or to supplement efforts you’ve already made.