Self-Storage: Your Flexible Solution When Handling an Estate

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Estate planning is usually done and then forgotten.

Rarely do people think through the logistics of how their estate might be settled, and often, they forget how much stuff we have.

What makes handling or settling an estate especially more difficult is that the executor has to methodically review the will and distribute the estate assets properly. Usually, this is very time-consuming and done when family and friends are trying to process their own grief.

In other cases, settling an estate becomes more complicated if probate is required, or if the remaining relatives or loved ones disagree on certain items. In these cases, the executor may be obligated to wait before distributing the estate assets, and because the executor may not be certain on timing, this could freeze the whole estate.

A flexible solution for families handling an estate is renting a self-storage unit. And most families and loved ones will agree that the executor can place items into self-storage while handling the estate, because there are so many benefits:

  • The immediate benefit of a self-storage unit is that items can be transferred from the deceased’s home to the self-storage facility, so that the home can either be sold or staged for sale. This has the added benefit of ensuing a good real estate market can be taken advantage of.
  • It gives the executor time to get probate completed and ensure the executor is not putting themselves in a compromised position.
  • A self-storage unit is less expensive compared to professional moving companies providing storage.
  • Rental contracts are flexible so you can rent for as little or long as needed to settle the estate.
  • Various unit sizes are available, and it’s possible that if some of the items are dealt with quickly, a smaller unit can be rented, which would have immediate cost savings.
  • A self-storage locker is also safe and secure, so a family does not have to worry about family heirlooms being damaged or stolen.

Overall, a self-storage unit will save the estate money and help eliminate unnecessary stress while the estate is being settled.

When renting a storage locker, whether for estate purposes or otherwise, it is always important to keep records of which items are stored where.

  • Labelling boxes is always recommended, but we also recommend taking a picture of the unit prior to locking it. This will help locate items remotely and also is evidence of which items are stored.
  • If the estate is complicated, it is recommended to take a formal, written inventory, and email it to yourself and, if an estate lawyer is being used, to the legal counsel as well.
  • A definite rule is that only the deceased’s items should be storage in the storage unit. Co-mingling friends’ or relatives’ personal belongings is a sure way to unnecessarily complicate the storage arrangement and lead to arguments and access issues.

It is also important to establish who should have access to the storage unit and who should rent the storage unit.

  • If the items are in storage while the executor works to properly resolve the estate, then the executor should remain in control of the storage unit.
  • If the estate is settled, or items in storage are not in dispute, then the executor should think through how to provide access. The person on the storage contract is who the self-storage facility is legally authorized to speak with and provide access to. So, if you are concerned about access or changes to the unit, you should come to a resolution on who is renting the self-storage unit.

In addition to agreeing on who is renting the self storage unit, there must be agreement on who is paying that rent (and being reimbursed from the estate). In terms of who pays for the rent, you will want to ensure that person is credit-worthy and does not have financial difficulties, because failure to pay self-storage rent could eventually (in the worse-case) lead to an auction of the contents. In case the estate is complicated, or there are doubts about the executor, your self-storage facility can always provide receipts to evidence payments made. A possible solution, in you are concerned with rental payments, is to request the renter (usually the estate executor) provide proof of payment monthly via email.

Settling an estate is difficult work. There are often many emotions involved and the items being distributed are meaningful, which is why the process cannot be rushed.

At Storage Solutions, we understand these feelings and issues and we can provide support and the right self-storage solution. We make renting storage units from either our Milton self-storage facility our Woodstock self-storage facility simple and easy. We offer touch-less renting, which means you can rent, pay and communicate with us 100% online.  

If you need self-storage while your settling an estate, call, text or email us, or visit us in person. Storage Solutions Woodstock is located across from Execulink at 1150 Ridgeway Road, Woodstock and Storage Solutions Milton is located at 9200 Twiss Road, Milton.

Your friend in self-storage,

Storage Solutions


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amer hashem (Milton)
a month ago

Very reliable storage. A good solution to park your car and keeping it protected from all weather conditions. Although a bit remote location.. but the price and the service was worth it.

Riley Rogozynski (Woodstock)
a week ago

I went in to find out some information on storage units for when I move in a couple weeks and was happily surprised by the customer service I received. I had looked at a few other storage facilities in Woodstock but their customer service was terrible compared to Jared's from Storage Solutions. He was professional and understanding of my needs and was ready to help anywhere he could. I will definitely be spreading the word to any of my friends looking for units!

Jennifer Sibbitt (Milton)
a week ago

Staff are very friendly and helpful. The facility is well maintained, clean and secure. I highly recommend Storage Solutions!

Janet Kennedy (Woodstock)
2 weeks ago

Great rates for a clean, secure, well lit place. Really good staff and a company that cares. New facility and the competitors are pretty tired looking and charging the same rates (if not a bit more).

Abeer Nauman (Milton)
a day ago

Very friendly staff. Always great service. Would highly recommend.

Lindsay Munro (Milton)
4 months ago

My husband and I recently relocated from the US and needed a place to store all of our belongings while we secured a new home. The folks at Storage Solutions advised us on the right size unit for our needs, at the right price. They were kind and helpful with all of our "first-timer" questions. We were very confident in the security of the place, and had absolutely no issues. I would highly recommend and use them again if needed.

Ashley Kelly (Milton)
a month ago

Been storing office and personal items for years. Have had various size units. Prices are great and staff has always been helpful.