Timeless Collage & Estate Planning Services


Sometimes when a loved one passes personal items need to be inventoried, evaluated and sold. Sometimes cleanup is required to ready a property for sale. In some circumstances cleanup is required prior to a loved ones passing. Our guest, Colette Ross with Timeless Collage and Estate Services joins us today to talk about Estate Sales and Property Cleanup.

Greg McIntyre:             Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. And I’m here today with an interview. Okay. I love interviewing people who have services that are valuable to seniors and their families. So I’m here today with Colette Ross. Thank you for being here today.

Colette Ross:                 Thanks for having me.

Greg McIntyre:             Yes, and she’s with Timeless Collage & Estate Services LLC. And guess what that is? I don’t know. You tell us what is Timeless Collage & Estates Services LLC?

Colette Ross:                 Timeless Collage & Estate Services LLC is an estate liquidation and estate services company. We serve clients in Charlotte and surrounding areas like you mentioned. In order to assist them with the organization and preparation for moving out, selling, or cleaning out their personal property.

Greg McIntyre:             Understood. Okay. That was very good. You’ve said that a couple of times.

Colette Ross:                 Just a couple.

Greg McIntyre:             Yes. So all right, so moving out selling. So it could be helping people move out before someone passed away. Is that right?

Colette Ross:                 Sometimes that does occur if indeed…and a family is in need of downsizing services and assistance with that process. For example, if somebody latter in life is moving into assisted living, we help with resolving the personal property within the home prior to their move to assisted living to allow to alleviate the burden labor.

Greg McIntyre:             Does that include auction services, things like that?

Colette Ross:                 We do not auction, although we do have associates that do if indeed the estate warrants are auctioning. But we perform onsite tax sales.

Greg McIntyre:             Onsite sales.

Colette Ross:                 That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             So estate sales.

Colette Ross:                 That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             Right, right. And you’re serving Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Correct?

Colette Ross:                 Yes.

Greg McIntyre:             So I see situations or hear of situations all the time and I think it’s sad and I’m not sure why it occurs, hoarding. Have you run across things like that?

Colette Ross:                 Well, the generation that is in the latter part of their life today is result of the depression era. And those folks tended to have not thrown anything away. So hoarding in itself,

[inaudible 00:02:23]

. Low and behold is actually a psychological illness that people suffer and yeah, it does happen. And there are folks who have an overabundance of items. Sometimes they don’t even know what they have, and the families are so overwhelmed that they just don’t know what turn.

Greg McIntyre:             Really?

Colette Ross:                 Absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             I mean, I have met with clients who are talk about family members who just have gotten into hoarding behavior and that is a psychological illness that comes about. Plus, I think people get overwhelmed over time sometimes. And just need someone to go in and make sure everything’s cleaned out and organized and sometimes that the valuable items set aside, so they can be sold. And that can be when someone is going into care?

Colette Ross:                 Absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             Like nursing home or assisted living care?

Colette Ross:                 Sure. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg McIntyre:             Or it could be after someone passes away. How do you do with an estate?

Colette Ross:                 Sure. At which point that family member, the heirs or primary who’s responsible will call on us to ask for us to help with that process. Being a third party and not having the emotional involvement that families do with the attachment to memories of items in their homes allows for us to be able to have to expedite the process.

Greg McIntyre:             In partial, right?

Colette Ross:                 Right. Still, with compassion but, on a level where we can [inaudible 00:03:50].

Greg McIntyre:             Sure. So you can get the job done.

Colette Ross:                 That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             I just think that’s going to be hard either working with the individual, or the family, or just that’s a hard job all the way around. And I admire what you do.

Colette Ross:                 Well, thank you.

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah, absolutely. So what are some things that we need to know about, the estate planning services, about estate sales, or the clean-out services that you provide. What do you think?

Colette Ross:                 Initially in regards to estate planning, the key word planning. Planning in advance and having conversations with families, educating them, and letting them know that these services are available for them so that they can plan for professional [inaudible 00:04:37] side in advance. Make decisions about property and what they choose to do with it. If there are family heirlooms that we’re going to choose to allocate amongst their family members, you [inaudible 00:04:48] in advance.

Greg McIntyre:             So how do you set those things [inaudible 00:04:50]. You’re going in at someone’s home and being asked to separate their things. And are you working with the family closely to say, “Look, cousin Mark wants this, daughter want this, son wants this, and this is for the sale.” Is there a lot of that? I mean, how does that work?

Colette Ross:                 There is a lot of it, but we asked for the families to manage that prior to our services coming about. So we have those conversations and say, “We prefer that you call on us when you’re ready, take your time, make sure you’re ready. Divide your property. And then when you know that only the items that are available for resale or disposal are on the property, it’s time for us to come in and assist.” And give them ample time to get through allocating in the attachment or even going through a will and seeing to it that each number has retrieved the items that were left for them or that their family desired for them to have.

Greg McIntyre:             Sure.

Colette Ross:                 And then following them getting through that process is when we would come in and finish by organizing the estate for resale.

Greg McIntyre:             So will actually helps you.

Colette Ross:                 Absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             In dividing up the property.

Colette Ross:                 Absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             Right. Even in the home, right?

Colette Ross:                 It helps families, absolutely. If I were to judge the families who have had a written will and have had that advanced planning versus not, I’d say that the peace of mind that’s offered to families who have planned in advance is absolutely crucial and alleviate so much stress.

Greg McIntyre:             That’s phenomenal, that’s phenomenal. We also have on the show today, Brenton S. Begley. BS. Begley [inaudible 00:06:33] attorney. JD and LLM, LLM and tax. Great attorney,

Brenton Begley:            All sorts of initials.

Greg McIntyre:             All sorts of initials. I’d like to [inaudible 00:06:44] what those initials stand for behind people’s names. I was doing that the other day when I was looking at the different people’s cards. How about that?

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, all of the initial beside my name just mean I owe a lot in student loans. That’s all that means.

Greg McIntyre:             That’s correct. The more initials by your name, the more student debt you have.

Brenton Begley:            That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             That’s a good point. So she mentioned, Colette mentioned, Ms. Ross mentioned wills, and how those help a family. You know, I wondered if you might speak to that as far as how wills can help a family. The importance of free planning also comes to mind, that personal property memorandum attached to the will with directions for the executor to follow the wishes of the, you know, that are written in the attached personal property memorandum. That comes to mind here and can be so helpful in that situation. I wonder if you could speak to that.

Brenton Begley:            Right. So probate, you know the process by which the cedent, person who’s passed away their estate gets distributed, right? You need to have some guide there. Without a guide, I mean, it’s very, very difficult to determine who gets what, especially when you have all these little pieces of personal property, right? So when you have a will, you want it to direct where your assets are going to go. But that can be hard and just type into will. It can be hard to sit down with an attorney for hours and inventory every little asset that you have, right?

Greg McIntyre:             And then you forgot something. So you have to come back in and then-

Brenton Begley:            Oh man, yeah.

Greg McIntyre:             [crosstalk 00:08:21] something. And then you acquire something else and you have to switch it out.

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, exactly. And so what you need to have is some ease in that process. What you need to have is what we provide. For example, as a personal property memorandum along with the will. So you can write in that personal property to go to whoever you wanted to go to. It’s literally a worksheet along with the will. So if you acquire property later on, if you have certain, knickknacks, or certain heirlooms, maybe something you just want to leave you to a certain person that you haven’t yet named in the will, you can just write that it in. It’s very easy. You Describe the property and you just write it in there. And you say who you want it to go to. It’s very- [crosstalk 00:09:11].

Greg McIntyre:             Number at the bottom of the page?

Brenton Begley:            That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             And then you sign each page and [crosstalk 00:09:17] several pages.

Brenton Begley:            It’s incorporated too by referencing the will. So the will references that personal property memorandums. So it’s a part of the will, just like any other page and the will.

Greg McIntyre:             Agree. Yeah, that’s phenomenal. Brenton, do you have any questions of Ms. Ross, and how [crosstalk 00:09:40] services fitting with what we do and clients of ours and just seniors and their families in general?

Brenton Begley:            You know I think a huge thing that you provide is the cleaning service. I mean that’s amazing. Can you speak to the extent of what you guys are willing to clean? Because that’s one concern that I mean because at some point you’re going to have maybe a professional carpet cleaning service or something like that come in if it’s a hazardous situation. But can you speak to the extent of what you guys do as far as the cleaning?

Colette Ross:                 If indeed there are additional services needed like carpet cleaning or if there is hazardous waste that our teams should not be exposed to, then we would have to call on resources in order to do that. But in regards to the extent of cleaning, our services completely turnkey from start to finish. It could be heaps of thousands in attics, garages, or outbuildings, and completion of our service. Generally within seven to ten days, the home will be cleared and cleaned and ready for a real estate walkthrough.

Greg McIntyre:             That’s excellent. So you’re talking about in an estate, having a home clean and ready to sell within seven to ten days.

Colette Ross:                 That’s right.

Brenton Begley:            And who do you need to talk to you to be hired? Who hires you? I mean it’s the executor of the estate or administrator of the estate, right?

Colette Ross:                 Whomever is the primary. It might be, for example, if the owner has downsized or moved to that assisted living facility and they are still of sound mind, they have the ability to call on us and ask for our service. We would then offer that consultation at their property and see to it that we find solutions for whatever it is that they need. If we’re able to conduct a personal property sale, that is always option one. Our goal is to try to regain the revenue from the investment that they’ve made throughout the years. So their accumulation of things, we do our best to regain some of the revenue of their investment to try to bring it back to the estate because their personal property maybe very abundant. If indeed that’s not an option, we would discuss the option of the clean-out services to see to it that ultimately their goal of selling the real estate can be met.

Brenton Begley:            You know you mentioned something about if a client were to move to an assisted living and need to hire you, they might not be able to because they might be incompetent. Right? And that situation, Greg we’ve seen that type of situation a lot.

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah. So how do you get past the part where you’re functioning as someone else? Can a family member, could a son, could I as a son do that for my mother or a daughter? Could a daughter do that for her parent, and hire estate cleaning and planning services, and estate sell services for mom while mom’s alive? If someone was incompetent, how would they do that, Brenton?

Brenton Begley:            Right. So I think what Ms. Ross would look for is, are you the power of attorney?

Colette Ross:                 [crosstalk 00:12:57].

Brenton Begley:            Right, right. Or do you have the authority to sign off on, on our services?

Greg McIntyre:             And what kind of power of attorney Brenton?

Brenton Begley:            That would be what we call on the street financial power of attorney. That’s a general durable power of attorney. Right. And that durable part’s going to be very important because that means that the power of attorney survives incompetency, incapacity, or otherwise inability to act for [crosstalk 00:13:22].

Greg McIntyre:             disability or lapse of time. That’s right. Yeah. And as opposed to a healthcare power of attorney, which gives someone the ability to make healthcare decisions. This would require that financial power of attorney, that general durable power of attorney that survives incompetency. You’d want to make sure that’s recorded at the register of deeds as well. And so that’s very important. All things that you can benefit from those types of estate planning services to make sure you’re ready by seeing someone, a professional, like an attorney at McIntyre Elder Law. So thank you very much for being here. If someone wants to get in touch with you, how do they do that? I know I have one of her cards here. It’s a very nice card. How would people get in touch with you? What is your website?

Colette Ross:                 Sure. Our website addresses timelesscollage.com. There is a link on our website on the last page where they can send notification of requesting services on contact.

Greg McIntyre:             Is that the contact form?

Colette Ross:                 Yes, exactly. On the contact form.

Greg McIntyre:             Look, they can contact you right there.

Colette Ross:                 That’s right. Or reach us by either of those phone numbers that are listed.

Greg McIntyre:             Right, which are 252-268-9764, right? I’m just going to put that one out, okay.

Colette Ross:                 Yep.

Greg McIntyre:             So, that’s phenomenal. You can learn more about that company there, a little about us, about Timeless Collage & Estate Services LLC and what clients are saying. There’s some client, certainly a testimonials there. As well as more about your business and you can even find out about where upcoming sales are going to be. Right. So you can look at where upcoming sales are going to be if you want to take part in a sale or come to a sale. Is that right?

Colette Ross:                 That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             That’s phenomenal, that’s phenomenal. Well, I wanted to say thank you so much for being here today and being on the Elder Law Report.

Colette Ross:                 Thank you.

Greg McIntyre:             And I appreciate it. Anything that we can do to help you, you let me know. Okay.

Colette Ross:                 Thank you, absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             And I’m going to look forward to working with you in the future.

Colette Ross:                 Likewise.

Greg McIntyre:             Absolutely. Thank you Brenton for being here today.

Colette Ross:                 Nice to meet you.

Brenton Begley:            Good to meet you top.

Greg McIntyre:             Bye now. And I would close out by saying, if you want to talk about estate planning services as well, limited, I’m sorry, general durable powers of attorney, the financial power of attorney, or talk about getting your wills in place, your estate planning documents in place. You can reach us by calling 704-749-9244 or going to mcelderlaw.com. Thanks. Have a great day. Bye Brenton.

Brenton Begley:            Bye.

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Greg McIntyre, JD, MBA

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