The Story of the Stolen Grandma continued…

2017-05-10T11:50:20-04:00May 10th, 2017|General, It Happened In Our Office|

Willy* filed a cease and desist order on each of his sisters, citing spurious reasons to keep them away from his house (and mom). We also alerted the Office of Aging in McKean County of the sad state of affairs. They sent workers to Willy’s house to visit with mom. The local police accompanied the two Office of Aging workers. The police had been called to Willy’s home before. His neighbors had called them when Willy was being less-than-safe with his firearms a few times in the past.

The sisters reported to the Office of Aging that mom had no change […]

The Story of the Stolen Grandma

2017-04-25T13:39:39-04:00April 25th, 2017|It Happened In Our Office|

Several years ago, my paralegal asked me to take a phone call. The woman on the phone was upset that someone was taking advantage of her 78 year old mother. When I picked up the phone, I had no way of knowing that this was the opening act of an eight month saga.

The agitated voice belonged to Reba*. She rambled through a series of events involving herself, her mother, her sister and her brother Willie. Mother loved her family, but Willie was the black sheep. When their dad died years ago, Willie moved in to help mom out temporarily, but […]

My Mom Has A Trust! Now What, continued. . .

2017-04-19T11:32:18-04:00April 19th, 2017|It Happened In Our Office|

Mrs. Smith owns two trusts. Both are called by the exact same name, “The Smith Family Trust.” Both have the same trustees, but each one has a different distribution scheme. Both trusts are irrevocable, meaning that the terms of the trust are permanent. It is not clear if anything is in the trust except for the real estate.

Most of the real estate Mrs. Smith owns is in the trust. Or in the trusts, plural. Or in one or the other trust. . .it is not clear.

Mrs. Smith told me that one of the pieces of real estate was sold last […]

Honey, I love you drawer

2017-04-06T13:57:46-04:00April 6th, 2017|General, It Happened In Our Office|

We were asked to help administer an estate for a woman who told us she was the only living heir of her father. We thought that it would be a simple intestate estate administration, which means that there is no Last Will & Testament. We began discussing her father’s estate when I learned that the daughter sitting in front of me was not an only child. Her father had another child, a son, who used to live with them, but the son left over two years ago and has not been heard from since.

As we discussed the disappearing son, the […]

Estate Administration Gone Wrong

2017-03-21T09:52:11-04:00March 21st, 2017|General, It Happened In Our Office|

We were asked to help administer an estate in which two siblings, who cannot agree whether the sun rises in the east, were the main beneficiaries. The estate was not too large, under a million dollars, and had as many non-probate assets as probate assets. The hope was that we could navigate the waters peacefully.

One of the siblings was the named executor of the Last Will & Testament. The other, non-executor sibling, brought the paperwork to his attorney (not Mateya Law Firm; we were brought in to try to restore the peace) without the executor’s knowledge. Wait, shouldn’t that Attorney […]

It Happened In Our Office . . .

2017-02-24T14:25:30-05:00February 13th, 2017|General, It Happened In Our Office|

A gentleman came in to probate his wife’s estate. This can be a difficult time in anyone’s life, losing a loved one. We discussed the necessary issues of the medical bills, the final arrangements and how the funeral was paid for, all of which were fairly predictable. Then I asked him how long he and his wife had been married.

“We never actually got married. We always said that it was just a piece of paper.”

I then had to break the news to him that his partner’s estate, which all passed to him through her Last Will & Testament, would be […]

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