9th Apr 2011
In concluding our 3 part series on hoarders, this final installment lists some of the dangers, both physical and emotional in combing through the family hoarder’s home.
Some of these items involve proper removal and disposal:
- Ammunition, live and vintage
- Child Pornography
- Drug labs and materials
- Hazardous materials such as paints, solvents, cleaners, etc.
- Carcinogens such Benzene, Toluene and Asbestos
- Expired canned food
- Exploded cans of soda
One CPA reported that he worked on an estate of a pathologist who had samples of his favorite diseased kidneys, gall bladders, and other body parts at his home as specimens in a collection.
Ventura County Environmental Health Officer, Greg Smith observed: “Hoarders have often become subjects of significant hazardous waste cleanups. A local Environmental Health or Fire Department can provide guidance for proper handling and disposal; in addition, State or Federal Superfund accounts may provide financial assistance.”
Families have to be careful about the handling and reporting of illegal materials such as drugs and child pornography, as these materials are evidence of a crime.
Interestingly, one accountant stated that the family of one hoarder sold his porn collection on eBay in the adult section, and “made double [the] cleanup fee on stuff that the family originally just wanted to toss out”.
These kinds of situations require not only the attorneys and accountants, but appraisers, environmental health, fire, police, and clean up specialists to be involved at different levels depending on the situation.
Dwight Edward Tompkins
Estate Planning Attorney
This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice from a qualified estate planning attorney in your jurisdiction.