Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Karen S. Gerstner, (Attorney at Law, Karen S. Gerstner & Associates, P.C.) has recently published her article entitled A Message to Clients . . . Avoiding Probate Court Litigation, Prob. & Prop., March/April 2008, at 56.
Here is an excerpt from her article:
When I was a young lawyer, I attended a meeting with several attorneys to discuss certain “contested matters” that had arisen after the death of a widower who died survived by four children. I was shocked to hear one of the seasoned attorneys say, “If all decedents had only one child, my workload would decrease to nothing.” Whether you go back to Cain and Abel, or only as far back as the Smothers Brothers (“Mom always liked you best”), sibling rivalry is the chief factor in many disputes arising after a parent dies. Many laypeople attribute all litigation to greed, but in the case of family situations, often much more is involved than simply greed. Sometimes children hold deep-seated resentments, which may be based on perceived unfair treatment by a parent or sibling, often going back many years. Sometimes the last living parent is the only “glue” holding the children in the family “together” (if they ever truly were, in fact, “together”). Sometimes parents have unrealistic expectations about family.