How to Tackle an Estate Clearance

When a loved one dies, the task of clearing out their home can be difficult and emotionally harrowing. People who are grieving may find it too upsetting to go through the person’s belongings and decide what to do with them. The process is time consuming, and it can be difficult to get it done within a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, this can lead to having a property sitting idle for long periods. During this time, the person who is responsible for clearing out the home may experience constant feelings of anxiety due to the difficult task they have hanging over them. Here are some tips that may help if you find yourself in this situation:

• Before you remove anything from the property, make sure that you are legally entitled to do so.

• If you are the executor, find and distribute specific bequests.

• Try to complete the clearing out process as quickly as you can. It is very unpleasant to have a task like this hanging over your head. From a financial perspective, the property will continue to cost the estate money until it is sold or rented. If you can, take time off from work and other commitments and try to get it done in one concentrated burst.

• Accept offers of help or ask for help from others. Having helpers can really speed up the process, and you will have emotional support at hand if you need it. Having someone with you to discuss what you should do with effects can help you to make confident decisions as well.

• If the proceeds of the estate are to be shared, make sure that you document all effects.

What to do with the effects:

• Carefully preserve precious heirlooms and memorabilia.

• Hire a skip or utilise the local council’s hard rubbish service if they offer one.

• Sell unwanted items that are too good to throw away on Gumtree or eBay, or put them on consignment at a Conventional Auction House. You could also consider having a Garage Sale.

• Excess towels and bedding are always welcome at animal shelters such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.

• Some charities will collect furniture, bric-a-brac and clothing. Diabetes Australia is a good one to try.

Once you have cleared out the home, the next step is to prepare the property to be sold or rented. Make sure that it is clean, the garden is neat, and minor repairs have been completed. All of these tasks may be outsourced. If the property is to be sold, consult your Real Estate Agent for advice on how to present the property so that it will attract maximum interest and the best price. It is a good idea to ask them to look at the property while it is still furnished, as they may recommend that the home will present better if it is not empty.

If you don’t feel that you are emotionally able to clear out your loved one’s home, or you simply don’t have time, a Professional Organiser can complete the estate clearance quickly and efficiently. If you live in Adelaide, please give me a call to discuss your situation. As an outsider who is not emotionally involved with your loss, I can provide compassionate guidance on how to deal with the estate, and arrange it all for you.

Turkish Real Estate Military Clearance Explained

As interest continues to generate for the purchase of Turkish real estate investments, one area of confusion for many first time buyers is often surrounding the necessary military clearance procedures. Military clearance is required by all foreign nationals purchasing real estate in Turkey, prior to the title deeds being transferred into the new owner’s name.

The process of military clearance is simply to ensure that the property being purchased is not located within a restricted zone. Once the clearance has been obtained confirming the property is located within a permitted area, the application to purchase is automatically accepted.

Areas affected by military restrictions include military land and areas of national security, historical areas and land of cultural value, mining and agricultural land, land in ecological and biological sensitive areas, registered forest areas and important areas for energy purposes.

The processes involved in obtaining military clearance include submitting the relevant paperwork for the transfer of the title deeds and personal identification to the Land Registry Office. The Land Registry department will liaise with the local military authorities in order to carry out the relevant searches.

The buyer’s legal representative can assist with obtaining the necessary paperwork for the military clearance procedures. Authorizing power of attorney can ease the follow up and tracking of the process, along with the release of the deeds, especially convenient for buyers residing outside of Turkey.

Currently is can take around 2 to 3 months for the military clearance processes to be completed. A new law is waiting to be bought into effect, enabling the Land Registry office to process the applications directly. Once the law is enabled, the processing time is expected to be greatly reduced.

Although it may at first appear to be a daunting process to have compulsory military clearance when purchasing real estate in Turkey, the entire procedure is very straight forward. Ensuring zones of ecological and cultural significance are protected, assists with avoiding over development and the destruction of areas of natural importance.

The planned modification of the procedures enabling the Land Registry office to carry out the processes in the near future will provide a significant improvement on waiting times, creating an even more attractive environment for foreign real estate investors.

A Letter of Legal Clearance? What is it? Do I Need One?

In most egg donations and in many embryo donations (anonymous or known), the donors and the recipients meet with reproductive law attorneys (each retains separate counsel, the recipients pay both attorneys’ fees) to discuss obligations, expectations, entitlements and restrictions that either party may intend to impose on the other. Typically, the recipients’ attorney will then draft what is generally known as an Egg Donation Agreement or an Embryo Donation Agreement (depending on the type of donation).

A Letter of Legal Clearance


A skilled reproductive law attorney will produce a document, generally 20-30 pages in length that captures, amongst other things, the respective intentions of the donor and the recipients. (I have done much writing and speaking on how imperative it is, in order to protect the donor’s rights as well as to best preserve parentage on the part of the non-genetic recipient, that direct contracts between donors and recipients be mandated by clinics and/or be insisted upon by patients…. more info on why contracts are necessary can be found in other blogs under my Legal Issues tab.)

For those clinics that wisely require direct agreements, most will want to be notified that the contract has been signed before the clinic will allow the cycle to start. There is some debate as to whether or not the clinic (or anyone else) is entitled to receive a copy of the agreement. At my office, because we feel these documents contain private and confidential information, we generally withhold the contract and, instead, issue to the clinic (and the matching agency, if one was used) a Letter of Legal Clearance. Even those attorneys who do feel comfortable sharing a copy of the contract will also send a Letter of Legal Clearance summarizing for the clinic certain terms of the agreement. Clinics will file the Letter of Legal Clearance with the recipients’ cycle records so that, should any action related to the cycle come up in the future (recipients want/need to contact the donor, the child wants to meet the donor, the recipients have excess or residual embryos they now want to donate or dispose of), the clinic is clear as to what was agreed to and they can proceed accordingly. (I’d like to say that I often consider whispering in the ear of certain clinics that direct contracts and Letters of Legal Clearance minimize their exposure to liability….frankly, I’d rather scream it, but, separate blog, separate matter.)

Typically my Letter of Legal Clearance informs the clinic of the following:

1. If the recipients have agreed (or not) that cycle results (number of eggs, embryos and pregnancy outcome) can be shared with the donor;
2. If the donor has agreed (or not) to be reached, through an intermediary, if the child suffers a medical crisis;
3. If the donor has agreed (or not) to be reached, through an intermediary, if the parents or the child should want to contact or meet the donor;
4. If the recipients can dispose of excess cryo preserved embryos by directing the clinic to thaw or otherwise destroy the embryos;
5. If the recipients can dispose of excess cryo preserved embryos through donation for scientific research; and
6. If the recipients can dispose of the excess embryos by donating them to another recipient for family building.

There are many other matters that can be addressed in a Letter of Legal Clearance (as there are many other matters addressed in the Egg or Embryo Donation Agreement including and most importantly, the donor’s relinquishment of parental rights) but the above generally shows how the attorney can inform the clinic of the intentions/expectations of both parties so that the clinic can accommodate any future request consistent with what the parties agreed to at the time of the donation. A Letter of Legal Clearance is a good idea for all who are involved in assisted family building and one that should be strongly considered by those clinics that do not presently require direct agreements. Recipients and donors should also consider the Letter of Legal Clearance as a must-have in order to be best protected throughout the donation process and for many years to follow.