Monday, August 25, 2014
Everyday there is a new headline regarding wills, inheritances, and disinheritances that have gone badly. Recently, the estate of late city resident Geraldine Webber is in dispute to the point that it involves the Portsmouth Police Commission. During a recent hearing, the situation was described as “a disgusting mess.”
A new state law in New Hampshire involving the active role of Portsmouth lawyer Sally Mulhem at Mulhem & Scott PLLC, is designed to prevent future messes of this type. It allows a will to be probated, therefore legal and binding, before a person passes away. “I saw an alarming increase in the number of probate and trust litigation cases. It was just devastating families, and the attorneys’ fees were just consuming whatever estate was there. I didn’t want to see this trend continue. I wanted to do something to get this under control.” said Ms. Mulhem.
Five years ago, Ms. Mulhem began working with the New Hampshire Trust Council to address the situation regarding wills, estates and trusts, and how to address the legal ramifications of trust law. Their efforts produced SB 289, with passage of the measure by the Senate and House. The bill was signed into law on July 11, with a start date of July 1, 2014.
With the new law, a person with what is likely to be a controversial will can opt to hold a hearing before a probate court judge to determine the validity of what they have done. “It allows the person to have a definitive say while they’re still here.”
See Paul Briand, New Granite State Estate Law Designed to End Shenanigans, Seacoast Online, Aug. 25, 2014.