Abschied & Aufbruch (Farewell & New Beginnings)
Estate and Inheritance Support
Based on my own experience I know how important a dignified estate and inheritance support is during the time of grief.
Screening & Informing.
Seeking & sorting.
Preserving & releasing.
With respect and empathy.
Dipl. Informationswirtin (FH) Anja Dompke
There is Staying in Leaving, Winning in Loosing, in each end – a new beginning.
“The Basic Idea”
Based on my own experiences I know how difficult it can be to clear out a dear departed’s home of all the things and items that defined their live. It can be excruciating, especially if one is in deep mourning. There are a lot of memories lingering in the rooms and clinging to the belongings of a person; facing them may bring a lot of emotions. It is not easy to confront yourself with such emotions and therefore one might easily find oneself in one of the following positions:
Either one does a clean sweep and calls a professional household clearer who clears out the house, sells valuables and posts a bill for his services. Things with a personal value will not be found this way but will need to be searched for and taken out beforehand. If one neglects to do this, private memorabilia may end up being sold to the public.
Or one delays the task of cleaning-up and has to face the costs for long-term rent or costs of maintenance for the house or flat. Oftentimes the delay does not have the desired effect and is on the contrary a heavy burden that weighs one down until no action seems possible anymore – the first step is just as difficult to take (or even more so) as it was months ago.
I know that people who lost a loved and close relative can feel left alone while cleaning out the house and being in mourning at the same time. This feeling may result in a kind of a paralysis where nothing seems possible anymore. With my knowledge, my experience and my energy I would like to help face this feeling of helplessness and paralysis, and turn it back into the ability to get things done.
I also would like to lend a helping hand to older people, who either need to let go of some possessions that have accumulated over the years when time has come to move into smaller spaces. Or maybe they do not wish to leave the decluttering to their heirs, so they decide to start the process of clearing out their belongings themselves (this is called “döstädning“ in Scandinavia which would roughly translate as “death-cleaning”).
To me, it is important to say that items that will not be kept will not be thrown away, but given to a good cause. I will make some suggestions as to where we can donate the items and the customer can decide which organisation will receive the items. This way, items that will be “set free” will be considered a resource that e.g. helps giving people with difficult backgrounds a job, or money received by selling them will be given to charity organisations that do communal and social work in several countries around the world.
Whenever a person passes away there are a lot of things to take care of, documents to order and deadlines to meet. It can be difficult to keep track of all the things that have to be done, especially when you are grieving and your mind is really elsewhere. I am offering you my help for all the things that need to be done during this time. This way, I would like to help you take all the time you need to mourn and also have some time and space for yourself, to keep your own life with its own challenges going.
Following hereafter, you will find some examples of the things what I would like to take off your hands. If you have a task that you would like me to take over, which is not listed here, please let me know, we will find a way together.
Support for Cleaning-up an Inheritance
I will help you by doing the first screening and informing (what is where in the house, e.g. valuables, important documents etc.)., the seeking and sorting (creating stacks of equal things having been stored throughout the house, like books), I will help you make the decisions to “Keep” or “Let-Go” of things, and to either store them away or take them away (i.e., things that are being kept need to be stored away in your own home (or alternatively use self-storage) and things that will be let-go need to be taken away to the right places). Depending on the customer’s wish, I can take over the tasks at hand completely or we can work together, hand in hand.
Recording of Items in your Inheritance
In cases where many heirs are present, they may get into an argument about “who gets what”. Oftentimes the heirs have interest in the same things left by their deceased and cannot find a way to settle. I am creating lists describing or showing (if wished, with photos) the items in the inheritance. Based on this list the group of heirs will be able to sit together, make decisions and settle with each other (if need be, a mediator can be called-upon for assistance).
I offer supportive services that are aimed at your defined needs, like sending out the thank-you notes after a funeral, or send in the notice of departure to official places, clubs or to e-mail and postal-mailing lists. I will listen when you speak about your dear departed ones and I understand that there are things you simply cannot do on your own. Please tell me what I can do for you!
“Döstädning” – Decluttering before the Heirs need to
If you are planning on moving into a smaller apartment or a retirement home, or if you just would like to clear out some of the items that have gathered during your life, we can face this task together. I will help you lift boxes off high shelves as well as take decisions as to whether to keep the items or not. I will take care of bringing the items you have decided to let-go to the right places. Throwing-off dead-weight frees the soul and clears the view into the future!
I would like to help you screen and sort the items in your inheritance and then coordinate which pieces goes where; additional services are possible. Following hereafter you will find my services listed as modules; you can either book the complete service or combine single modules with each other – as you need and wish. In a personal first meeting we can clarify exactly what you need, preliminary questions can be answered in a phone call beforehand.
Modul 1 – Initial Meeting
In a personal initial meeting at the home of the deceased we will clarify which services you wish to book, we will view the rooms and check what needs to be cleaned up and cleaned out. We will speak about the extent to which the service will be provided and whether you would like to be present or absent while I perform the tasks at hand, i.e., if we work together or if you would like to join in later in the process when decisions need to be taken. All specialties that need to be taken into account will be clarified at this point, too.
At the end of this module you will have decided, which services and in which timeframe will be provided. Afterwards I will send you a written offer, summarizing and confirming our discussions and your decisions.
Screening & Informing
In this module, I will screen your inheritance, find important documents and secure items of value on your behalf.
If you book this module I will screen the items in your inheritance, find important documents and tell you which items seem to be of value and should be secured first. I will put together an overview on which kind of items can be found where. This may be of special interest if you need an heir’s certificate and therefore need to find certain documents in the deceased’s home
If you decide to only book modules 1 and 2, I will put together a suggestion for you how to go on cleaning out the home, so your valuable time can be used as efficiently as possible.
At the end of this module you will have the overview on what can be found where in the house and based on my suggested plan of going forward, you will be able to resume the cleaning up and cleaning out by yourself.
Seeking & Sorting
In this module I will search certain items for you that are of special value – no matter if the value is a monetary or an emotional one.
In this module I will search certain items for you that are of special value – no matter if the value is a monetary or an emotional one. Tell me which items are of importance to you and I will look for them accordingly. At the same time, I will sort things according to similarity – e.g., books to books, documents to documents and so on.
This module is of special interest if you wish to retain certain items, e.g. from your childhood, but you are not able to search for them on your own.
At the end of this module I will hand you the previously specified items. What remains at the house will be pre-sorted crates or boxes with books, with clothes, with kitchen utensils (and so on), which you can then check for single items to keep or give away.
If you book this module, we will go through the pre-sorted items and decide together what will happen to them.
If you book this module, we will go through the pre-sorted items and decide together what will happen to them. You will probably want to keep some items and give away others.
I will offer you different solutions for how to deal with the items you will not want to keep – you decide which option fits best. Would you like to donate the items to charities? Do you want to have items of value be evaluated at the hands of an expert? Some items may not be usable at all anymore and will need to be disposed of.
You will take the decision and I will help you during the decision process.
At the end of this module you have taken the decision for each item in your inheritance, whether to keep it or give it away.
Preserving & Releasing
The previously defined stacks and boxes will need to be brought to the right organisations or experts.
The previously defined stacks and boxes will need to be brought to the right organisations or experts. If you decided to donate, sell or dispose of certain items, I will find the experts who will collect, evaluate or receive the items.
For some of these services I will use the help of other service providers and will accompany their services on your behalf.
If you wish to need help choosing the right place for items kept or how to present them best, I will offer my opinion and help, too.
At the end of this module you will have an empty flat or house which you can then renovate and rent out or sell.
I am offering a selection of different additional services. If a special task is missing on this list and you would like me to take this off your hands, please contact me – we will find a good solution together.
Modul 6 – Additional Services
For some of the following services I will use the help of other service providers and will accompany their services on your behalf.
- Sending out thank-you notes after the funeral
- Since typically not all items from your inheritance can be kept: Picture taking and picture-archiving of items that will be given away
- Digital archiving of old pictures or documents
- To keep an overview: Sorting and archiving of documents (Mail, bank account statements, etc.)
- To keep costs low and lessen the amount of daily mail: Unsubscribe or unregister the deceased from administration offices (e.g. at the local car admission service) or insurance companies, from clubs and organisations, and postal mailing lists and subscriptions.
- Social Media: Closing of digital inheritance (e.g. facebook account etc.)
About my person
After I “successfully quit“ my chemistry studies midway at the beginning of the new millennium, I decided to study Information Management. This I finished ahead of the scheduled time and as one of the first in my year and I graduated with a diploma.
The topics taught were library systems, IT applications and programming, economics and law. One can say that additionally to my natural predisposition, I have learned the seeking, sorting, archiving and classifying of data from scratch.
After having worked for quite some time in the pharma industry in different jobs and positions, and even having lead a team of five, I figured it was time for a change and to do something new. I wanted to follow a childhood dream and be an entrepreneur, a freelancer who would help people, learn their stories and do some good in this world and for my fellow people.
That is the reason why I founded the company „In Memoriam – Abschied und Aufbruch“ (Farewell and New Beginnings). I wish to pass on my experiences after my parents’ passing away and help people with my empathy and energy, solving problems and help facing challenges, if they cannot go on alone anymore.
I have put together some keywords and notes so that you can picture me a little bit – I think it is important not to just work together with anybody, but with someone you find likeable and whom you can trust.
I love creating order from chaos – no matter if this is about items or challenges that need intellectual solving. I am not working with one eye always trained on the attendance clock but always with a keen view to the deadline.
I am a thoughtful person with a deep understanding of other people’s problems and issues. My knack of problem solving gives me the opportunity to see solutions that others couldn’t find – especially if these people are emotionally too involved themselves. People tell me that my energy is catching and motivating.
My open and honest personality makes me “a good friend“– people whom I meet confide in me quickly and tell me personal stories and thoughts, because they feel they can trust me – and I never betray that trust.
Behaving respectfully towards people and their stories; the chance to candidly speak to me about grief and other problems as well as my friendly and cheerful personality are qualities that people value in me.
My high levels of empathy and my own experiences with managing grief and other crises, as well as with the cleaning out of my deceased parents’ homes make me the perfect partner for the process of taking care of everything belonging to your inheritance.
Empathy; Caring; Concern for People, Items and their Stories; Inventiveness; Resourcefulness; Love of Order and Structures; A “Contagious” Energy Level, Punctuality, Ability to Plan Ahead; Economical Use and Recycling of Resources.
Dear Anja! Stay as you are!!! So much empathy, helpfulness and cheerfulness that you have! All the BestA colleague
Dear Anja, Thanks a lot for the great time together. You are one of the most caring and helpful colleagues that I ever had. I will miss you so and I am wishing you just the best for your future!A colleague
Dear Anja, stay as you are: Colourful, open for new experiences, creative and cordial!A colleague
Dear Anja, your positive way will be missed here!A colleague
Back when my brother and me started dismantling what was once our grandparents’ and parents’ belongings, we learned a lot and gained a lot of experiences. I think these can be of help to others in similar situations and that’s the reason I am writing this blog – to share my stories with you.
Some of the entries may be sad and some funny. That’s the thing about death – it makes us sad, but a life well lived can make us happy, too. Both needs to coexist and have their own time and space, the crying and the laughing.
Therefore: Enjoy my blog!
My mother loved nice dinnerware, dishes, cups, mugs and so on. For a few years, my brother and I gave her a new nice cup with saucer or an elegant mug with floral or fruit print for her birthday, for mother’s day, for Christmas. From our childhood we knew the...read more
My mother loved beautiful clothes. As she was a bargain hunter, she often bought new clothes on sale. The advantage of owning a big house, which she lived in on her own after my brother and my leaving for university and work, was that there was always enough storage...read more
My mother passed away in the middle of a January after two long stays at the hospital. When we began clearing out her house, I noticed a shoe box standing close to her bedroom door. It looked brand-new and so I opened it to check what was inside – in my family (and in...read more
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An der Christuskirche 17
+49 (0)176 – 690 13 242