Dont Go Changing

 

Don’t Go Changing..Billy Joel

Your will without me..

Don’t change your beneficiaries…

M’mmm..

I draft the clauses, I draft the sections, ..

I am the lawyer and your not…

I have started putting a bold stamp on first drafts of the wills and trusts I draft. I sometimes never hear from the client again after mailing out the first effort. I worry they start doing their own work after they see my start on their project.

draft

We have seen such events in our chambers. The mouth runs dry at the sight of such chaos in what once was another lawyers fine product.

Often folks arrive in my office not really knowing what they want to become of their estate when they are gone. One couple had a knock down drag out fight about who got what when they were both gone. I heard too much information about their children; who is “responsible” and who is not. I proposed sending out a draft for them to think about but the argument raged on for about an hour.

Finally they left, I sent what I thought was what they wanted and never heard from them again. Perhaps they are still struggling for control of what happens when they cross out of this plane of existence where the argument between them will finally end, leaving their children to continue the fight.

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2 comments on “Dont Go Changing

  1. Geoff Jones says:

    No question — its a dangerous situation. I stamp “draft” all over my estate planning documents when I first mail them out (on the first page and over all of the signature lines) because I have had clients sign a draft and never get back to me to have the will properly executed, believing they can save additional lawyer fees that way . . .

  2. and all it really means is there is a high percentage chance the will they paid at least something for never gets admitted to probate, or there is at least a huge fight about it’s admission because it is not, on its face, properly executed.

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