Welcome to NABBW member and estate dissolution expert, Julie Hall, known to her clients as “The Estate Lady.” Over the course of almost two decades, she has successfully assisted thousands of people — usually Boomer-aged women — in the daunting and painful process of managing their deceased parent’ affairs. Here, she tells us a bit about herself, what motivates her, and why she’s found time two write two books designed to help Baby Boomers deal with their parents’ lifetime accumulation of stuff.
Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m an expert in dealing with personal property the Depression Era leaves behind. My specialties are estate dissolution, and assisting grieving families in making the appropriate decisions during the estate settlement process.
A certified personal property appraiser, estate sales professional, residential content removal specialist, and broker of fine items, I own The Estate Lady ®, LLC, which offers turnkey estate dissolution services.
I bring eighteen years of experience to families facing the overwhelming task of dissolving the family home. Families call on me to consult with them on their estates, conduct on-site estate sales, appraise their personal property, and organize the removal and disposal of family home contents in the most appropriate way.
In addition to my responsibilities as The Estate Lady, my passion for helping as many distressed families as possible deal with the challenges of estate dissolution inspired me to take ownership of The American Society of Estate Liquidators (ASEL) in 2007. As director of ASEL, my vision is to dedicate the organization to being an educational, networking, and referral resource to estate professionals nationwide.
Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.
I am happily married to Bob and have a teenage daughter (who might be aging me faster than I was a few years ago!) I wish my elderly parents lived closer, mostly because I adore them, but also because like so many other Boomer women, the bulk of handling the care of our beloved parents and tending to their estate often lands on the shoulders of one of their female children.
What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?
The first thing that comes to mind was my carefree childhood. I could go anywhere, ride my bike, and not be afraid. For the most part, people were kind and respectful, but things certainly have changed. I am very fortunate to have been raised the way I was, by two incredible people, in a beautiful place, and in a wonderful manner.
What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?
For nearly 20 years, I have worked closely with female Boomers, cried with them and offered support and strength during one of the most difficult times of their lives — the infirmity and death of their parents; and then having to deal with all they left behind.
Helping them make sense of it all, avoid the many pitfalls that lurk for siblings when cleaning out the family home, and the most difficult of all, dividing the estate contents and heirlooms during a time of great tension and high emotions.
I have seen the very best and worst in human nature and offer my clients trustworthy guidance every step of the way.
What inspires you?
The millions of boomers out there who will walk this path and need help along the way. When a parent passes away, most of my clients are not thinking clearly because they are grieving and in a state of “information overload.”
After I assist my clients through the darkness of their situation, I am filled with an appreciation for my compassion and skill set to be able to lift their burden for them.
I am continuously inspired, as this is a very strong calling for me.
What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?
You mean aside from the wonders of menopause? Seriously, knowing I have attained a level of wisdom and experience I didn’t have in my 20′s or 30′s and the confidence that comes only with age and knowing that I was meant to do this work. Most people are taking it easier in midlife, but I feel like I am picking up speed as I have so much to do and so much to teach!
Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I love to commune with God and nature in my garden, woodworking beside my husband, and just hanging out and talking with my teenager. She’s an amazing young lady.
Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?
I would like to think I have received a great gene pool, though, I have found myself trying to slow down the little wrinkles and crinkles here and there. For me, going under the knife is not an option, but I would like to age gracefully, like the beautiful Sophia Loren. Be the best with what I have and be confident with it. After all, I earned it.
Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?
Constantly. Taking my intellectual property and teaching and sharing all that I know to make other people’s lives easier. I write constantly, and have numerous books and courses in the works. Since I am personally constantly evolving, I must evolve as a business woman too.
The need for what I do is so great that I must stay in the foreground and think out of the box every minute of every day.
Do you plan to retire?
My husband jokes that I will be found in an expired state holding my cell phone making a deal. I don’t think retirement is for me, though I will spend more time in my garden….
Are you doing anything to GO Green?
Oh yes! When cleaning out estates, I teach people how to go green by recycling almost everything inside a home. What I do is the ultimate in recycling.
Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?
Knowing that her time was near, she reflected on what had just happened and told me, “How I wish we old folks had a nice estate lady like you for guidance.”
And just like that my company, The Estate Lady®, was born. Too many elders, especially those afflicted with Alzheimer’s are easily taken advantage of with their heirlooms, etc. This led me to write my book, The Boomer Burden: Dealing With Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff.
Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?
I wouldn’t say they are unfulfilled, because they will be fulfilled, but it is a process. I am busy creating an easy to use, affordable product utilizing my intellectual property to assist the millions of boomers who will need them.
How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?
I provide a humanity-based solution and ease their burdens while dissolving the family home. It takes great compassion and strength of spirit to witness all that I do each day. I give them a friendly hand to hold every step of the way in the midst of greed, grief, inheritance and death issues.
If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.
“Julie Hall tries to do it all!”