I hope that this book will guide individuals, families, and future generations with the knowledge to retain the greatest possible amount of their family inheritance. The experiences I have had in working with probate attorneys were, at first glance, a tremendous opportunity to serve my community. I felt privileged to be able to help families through one of the most difficult times in their lives… when they have lost a loved one.
After working closely with one of the probate attorneys, I began to see a recurring theme, that of discontented clients. Whether I referred the client to the attorney or the attorney referred me to a client, the outcome was usually the same: the client was very unhappy with the probate result. The clients expressed similar complaints that became commonplace for most, if not all, my probate cases: “I didn’t get much money at the end of this,” “This took way too long… what did the attorney do again for this outcome?” “I feel cheated,” “I can’t get the attorney on the phone unless they need something from me,” and, “If I had known we would get this little percent of the inheritance, I would not have done this probate.”
The pattern was certainly clear, and I could no longer try to explain these complaints away. There simply wasn’t an explanation for them that was palatable. I could no longer sleep very well, and I could no longer refer my clients to wolves in sheep’s clothing. So, I decided to seek an attorney who viewed integrity as something to be put into action as opposed to just giving it lip service.
I wanted to partner up with a lawyer who wasn’t just pretending to be an upright and honest person, but one who truly had his clients’ interests at heart. I also needed an attorney who would be fair and equally reciprocal in referring clients to me. I no longer wanted to refer ten of my hard-earned clients in a year to an attorney who would only refer one client to me. I laid out my expectations to new attorneys, and have yet to meet one who could step up to the challenge. Where are they?
I also hope that this book will deliver a message along with some insight into the attorney world to do a better job for their clients, as well as be an equal give and take partner. Attorneys should realize that probate realtors like me entrust our clients’ livelihood and inheritance into their hands along with our reputation when we refer a client to them. Our clients expect honesty, integrity, and straightforwardness from the probate realtor and the lawyer, particularly in a time when they are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Before you get started with the reading of this book, I want to be clear that the information provided in this book is the author's personal account and experience. This book is intended for informational purposes and not as a definitive guide to every probate process. You may find other methods or materials that bring the same end result.