Tony takes a deep breath as he enters the funeral home. His mother had passed away earlier in the week after fighting lung cancer for months. He stands in front of the casket staring at his mother’s lifeless body. In part, Tony is relieved that his mother is no longer in pain and lingering. On the other hand, he will miss her terribly as she was the glue that held the family together. Tony is dreading the next steps as well as dealing with his siblings in Probate Court. Mom’s home was full of 60 years of stuff and had a habit of opening a bank account anywhere they would give her a free toaster or some other gift. The amount of work Tony is going to face to find all of Mom’s accounts, divide up her belongings or dispose of them is daunting. Tony wonders when the right time is to get started in probate court. Since he is the personal representative in her will is he supposed to read the will to his siblings, give them copies or call a lawyer first?
Friends and family approach Tony at the funeral and give their condolences and sympathy. Tony’s eyes well up with tears as he speaks of the good times while speaking to his Aunt Marge. At that point, his youngest sister, Mary interrupts and starts asking, “What’s the next step? You know, Mom wanted me to have her diamond neckless and my son just got his license so her car would be perfect.” Tony snaps, “You can’t even wait until she is in the ground?” The other siblings chime in with their feelings, everyone starts raising their voices. The funeral director comes in and asks all of them to keep their voices down and states, “this is not the place”. Tony storms out of the funeral home. Tony is embarrassed, ashamed of his family and confused. He doesn’t want to be in charge even if he is the one his mother chose in her will. He jumps in his car and starts it but quickly realizes that leaving is not the answer, and he must do what his mother asked before she passed and keep the family together. Laura, his wife, comes out of the funeral home, Tony gets out of his car and takes her hand as they walk back in.
He approaches Mary and hugs her. “I miss her too” he whispers to her. They look at each other still holding hands, Mary smiles as she wipes away a tear from Tony’s face. Tony decides he will find a way to get through the process and keep his family together.
WE CAN HELP YOU. We develop creative solutions and provide the estate plan to accomplish your goals, no matter how complex. We can also take the burden from your shoulders and make the probate process or trust administration as easy as possible.
After 26 years of practice, we have heard many stories like this and have found that helping people either avoid Probate Court with thoughtful, personalized, estate plans or assisting those who were not as fortunate, navigate the Probate Court system to ensure the correct people receive their correct share of a loved one's assets is extremely rewarding and provides personal satisfaction.
For the convenience of our clients, the legal team at John R. Tatone & Associates has two locations to serve you. The "main" office is located in Macomb County at 8300 Hall Rd, Suite 200, Utica, MI 48317 for our clients in Macomb, Wayne and St. Clair counties. A second "satellite" office is located in Western Oakland County at 28175 Haggerty, Novi, Michigan 48377, for our clients in Livingston, Oakland, and Washtenaw Counties.
John R. Tatone & Assoc.
8300 Hall Rd, Suite 200
Utica, MI 48317
Novi, MI 48377
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