kathy&doug2

For almost a decade, she’d helped seniors and their families find services for healthcare, mobility, and estate planning. For what she went through with her own mother, she knew the pitfalls and problems that can happen when wills aren’t executed properly, family disputes explode, and corrupt courts see green. She thought she took all the diligent steps to ensure I would never have to endure the same. And now, at her funeral, I’m seeing the same ‘mistakes’ force me into the same process she had to do. Death is difficult enough. Why do we allow laws that make it so much worse?

A will gets thrown-out. Family member’s identity is questioned. Family history gets analyzed. People who specialize in taking money from others see blood in the water. Unscrupulous family members see an opportunity for quick cash. Government agencies start poking around looking for a payday. Your lawyers are fighting lawyers half-way across the country. Property is put in legal-limbo for years, costing your estate money each month. In the end, no one even remembers the deceased. How could it go so wrong?

I’ve seen it happen in my own extended family, and I’ve heard stories of much worse. Luckily, I didn’t experience half these evils when my mother died. A sole survivor with no siblings, a notarized will, and no major debts but a mortgage, it should have been easy. Not even close. An old probate lawyer, ready to retire, took my case and let slip some tips the rest of you should heed.

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