Kerry is a shareholder in the Tacoma office

Kerry is a shareholder in the Tacoma office

So many times, clients come in with a big mess.  They have done things on their own and now, it is a mess and it will cost WAY more to fix it than to do it right in the first place.

Here's a recent example.  A client (I will call Joe) came in with his mother's Will that she had put together 2 years before she died last fall.  The Will left 60% to Joe and 40% to his brother (I'll call him Bill").  A year or so before she died, she made a gift to Joe of a substantial amount that was in part for the work and money he had given her and in part to help pay for Joe's daughter's wedding.  

Bill is objecting to that gift.  Joe cannot tell the Court that his mother told him she did not want to leave anything to Bill, because those kinds of statements are prohibited by the "Deadman's Statute" that prohibits a person with an interest in an estate from telling the court what the now-deceased person may have said.  So now, Joe is having to get statements from other friends and neighbors that show the bad things the mom said about Bill, so that Bill (and his attorney) will understand the mother intended to make the gift to Joe.  How awful is that? 

If mom had written a note indicating her desire to make the gift, none of this would have been necessary.  It would have saved lots of money and the brothers would not have been pitted against each other.