• Nikki Buckelew

thank god my attorney has connections

Meet Ray...

My mom passed away last year. Although we all talked about the possibilities associated with my mom's passing, I found myself simply unprepared for the tasks associated with closing out her estate. My siblings, although well-meaning, didn't have the time nor expertise to help. I wasn’t sure what to do or where to turn.

A bit like a fish out of water, I reached out to my mom's family attorney. I later found out that she hadn't spoken to him several years. He had done a Last Will and Testament for her and Dad way back, but since Dad's death, she had not really needed their help.I guess that's a good thing.


Talking to the attorney about what steps I needed to take to close out my mom's estate, he gave me a ton of information, but for the most part, he did the heavy lifting. There were petitions to be filed and court dates to be scheduled. It seems that I would need to be named as a personal representative before I could actually do anything to get the ball rolling. I would then be tasked with taking an inventory of what my mom owned and making plans for what to do with her things. 


It would be one thing if all I needed to do was the legal stuff. The attorney Mom had entrusted was actually a really good guy. He kept me informed and seemed to know the ins and outs of the probate process. But what I quickly realized is that Mom had not really been too good at keeping up with her house. She had been in rather poor health for a while. She had accumulated a lot of stuff and wasn't terribly organized.

To put it simply, I was overwhelmed. My wife didn't have time to deal with all this. How could I even ask her? My brother and sister are both out of state and have full time jobs and kids. How would I get all of these things out so we could even start to think about selling the house? 

Thank goodness for experts...

One day on the phone with the attorney, I mentioned that I wasn't sure what to do with Mom's house. I told him I felt ill-equipped and didn't know where to begin. Much to my surprise he said, "Oh, there are people who do all those things. They can help you sort through the personal items and choose what you want to keep and then help you liquidate the rest. They are real estate agents specializing in helping seniors and families with both the emotional and logistical challenges of closing out an estate."

He gave me their number and the rest is history. Not only did this group of people take the burden off of me and my siblings, but they seemed to really care about Mom and her legacy. I am so grateful to my attorney who made the introduction and who saved me a ton of time and frustration. In fact, I just referred him to a buddy of mine from high school who just lost his dad and needs to start a probate. Thank goodness for experts.

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