Should parents clean out their own homes and spare their children the uncomfortable feelings (of guilt, sadness and obligation) that come with this task after the parents have passed? Adriane Berg, founder of Generation Bold and author of Bottom Line’s Aging for Beginners blog, offers a very simple answer to this dilemma—ask your loved ones what they would prefer. Just as there are those who would find the task of dealing with their parents’ lifetime of treasures daunting, there also are those who enjoy this kind of task. Be sure to ask before throwing things away—there may very well be specific items that have tremendous sentimental value to other family members.

For more great tips from Adriane Berg, check out her Bottom Line blog “Aging for Beginners,” visit her website, or purchase her most recent book How Not to Go Broke at 102.