NEW OLEAR BANNERYou?ve been named an executor for a loved one and now you?re faced with liquidating that person?s belongings. That alone can be a difficult task, but it becomes even more daunting when a specific timeline is added to the equation.

Hiring an experienced estate liquidation company can certainly provide some much needed relief and assistance, but you should first interview several companies to ensure you?ve selected the right company to meet your needs and the requirements of the estate. Here are some questions to ask before signing a contract:

? How long have you been in business, and are you licensed and insured? The answers should tell you if you?re dealing with an experienced and well-established business that knows its way around an estate and follows established industry rules.

? How long will the liquidation process take, and what are your sales methods? This is not a good time for surprises, so have an agreed upon timeline when entering the process with an estate liquidator. Is an estate sale their one and only sales method, or are eBay, auctions and consignment shops also part of the plan?

? How does your firm account for inventory and sales, and how long will it be before I receive a check? Reputable companies will keep an accurate record of each item sold and will provide a complete detailing of activity. Be sure to ask about the payment timeline in advance, and while you?re at it you should also ask for a list of customer references.

Hiring a professional and respected estate sales company will lessen your burden and provide peace of mind. Just be prepared with questions and be proactive in your search!