Take houses for example. Rarely do we find anyone as optimistic as my parents, still living, who at 70 put a 40 year roof on their house. Most of the time the leak in the basement has been unaddressed. Perhaps some of the appliances no longer work, and probably owing to failing strength, stamina and eyesight, the home is not very clean.
People tend to keep things too. Not hording exactly, but there is this sense that one might need that newspaper clipping some day, or that package of holiday napkins should someone, anyone, come to call.
My paternal grandfather was that way with buildings. He somehow came to ownership of real property, the deeds of which were found floating around in the back of his Mercury. Then one day there in the mountains of Idaho a heavy snow would fall and collapse that building he thought he would need one day.
Fortunately he had family around to keep it all straight. Many do not.
Instead the lawyer gets a call from the personal representative who was named in the will, perhaps a nephew from the Midwest, describing what is found after he travels out here at estate expense to examine the debris field.
When we prepare the inventory typically this carnage is listed as “household goods and furnishings” and the value given is zero. On the accounting is the cost of clean up, often including a dumpster, the final resting place of the flotsam and jetsam of a life.