“Where should we go for help to administer Grandma’s estate?” is a common question. The answer is to frequently “Grandma only had a copy of her last will and testament. The original is at the lawyer’s office, ‘Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.’” The response is almost always “Well then, since old Attorey Isaac Cheatem has Grandma’s will, let’s just let Dewey, Cheatem and Howe handle everything.” And so it goes. . .
Most people are unaware that the personal representative is the one who gets to decide which attorney handles the administration of Grandma’s estate. The mere fact that the original will is still with Attorney “I. Cheatem’s” office does not control which law firm will handle assist the personal representative. Most people, however, believe that they do not have a choice, that they must enlist the aid of the attorney who drafted the will. This is simply not true.
Then why does the practice continue? Perhaps the readers are best left to decipher that one for themselves. . .
Does that mean that every law firm who maintains at least one signed original of a last will and testament is somehow doing something wrong? No, not at all. It is important, however, to know that if you are called upon to be the personal representative, it is your decision of where to go to seek assistance with the estate’s administration. You need not use the law firm who has been keeping the original document for Grandma for all these years.
Please contact us, Mateya Law Firm, to assist you with your estate planning or the probate and administration of your loved one’s estate.