Pauline was a retired paralegal. Although an avid traveler, her smoking had weighed heavily on her body, and at 85, she had full-fledged COPD, which made activities difficult and painful. Her only relative was her brother Wayne, who lived 3 hours away, and as she contemplated MAiD (Medical Assistance in Death), she knew she wanted to make his life easy in the role of her estate trustee.
She called Gordon’s to ensure that we would be available to help her brother settle her estate.
With her background as a paralegal, she felt strongly that she would not require a new will and that her affairs were in order. As the day approached, however, and with some more conversation, knowing the goal was to make her estate settlement simple, we discovered that she was convinced her estate would not require probate.
Being certain her estate would require probate, we asked her if she would please sit down with a lawyer—in her case, one who made a house call—to discuss her will and other legal issues. The lawyer assured her that probate would be required, and so we were able to bring Wayne up to speed on the implications for him and how we could supply some of the information he would require for that process.
The time came, and Pauline followed through with her MAiD plan. We met Wayne the following week and updated our agreements with him under his authority. We changed the locks on the house, secured it, set up regular insurance checks, supplied the appraisals so Wayne could make the probate applications safely and with confidence, cleared and sold the contents, and had the home cleaned, painted, and prepared for sale.
The probate certificate came in within 4 weeks of application; the house was then listed and quickly sold. Wayne was able to make one trip to the home at the time of death, one more to sign probate applications, and once more to sign over the deed to the new buyer for closing. All of the envelope was completed within 10 weeks of Pauline’s passing with little strain on her brother, meeting her post-death goals for him and for her estate.
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