September 30, 2003

The price of a bunch of junk

I had a very interesting afternoon. I have a client who is the alleged executor of her mother's will who is being confronted by several of her siblings regarding some of the property from the estate. A couple of weeks ago, we agreed to allow anyone who wanted to pour through the paperwork to shedule a time to do so at my office. One decided to do so, and traveled a great distance to stand at a counter in my office and paw through a large box of papers while I watched, or sometimes watched. I could hear the conversation between she and her husband and I have some idea about what it is that seems to be at issue: some old coins and a bedroom suite. I sense this immense distrust and hatred between these siblings over some mundane items of stuff.

My client did not even come. Her husband popped in for a bit to leave the papers and came back later to tell us she did not want to come. So, it was they and I and this large box of papers. They spend 2 hours going though it and making stacks of this and that. I do not know how long they traveled to get here from Missouri, but I don't think I could make it to Joplin in less than 8 hours. Another 8 hours going back. The time pouring through that box of papers, all for just a few dollars worth of property. We are not talking about family pictures and documents and such, it was old furniture and old coins.

There was some dispute over who should get something that belonged to my grandaddy when he died that estranged my father from his mother for 25 years. I know how badly my dad felt about that. Later, when his mother finally died, he greatly lamented having lost those 25 years. All of life is a balancing act. Time has real value also, and sometimes the expenditure of time is not worth the financial gain. Sometimes hatred drives us to throw away very valuable time that we can never recover.

They finally collected several documents, about 12 out of about 600 that they thought were important enough to ask me to copy. I did so, making two copies, then clipped the ones I copied and put them among the client's papers. I gave one set of copies to the sibling, and kept the other set for my file.

You never know if your own client is going to argue at some point that you should not have provided their enemy with copies of such papers. I want evidence of what I did actually give away. Attorneys ... CYA ... it is a way of life. But George, don't I use a lot of paper?

Headache is still nagging me, and I am woozy from all the antihistamines running through my system, so I am going to go lay down and see if I can clear my head. I could or could not be back this evening. In fact, since the damn antihistamines will keep me awake all night, there is a good chance I could be here anytime in the wee hours of the morning. I hope not. I need some rest.

Posted by notGeorge at September 30, 2003 05:59 PM

Just remember the old saying:
"Where there's a will, there's a relative."

Posted by: Kathy K at September 30, 2003 06:29 PM

Good job of CYA, Tiger. It's necessary.

Posted by: Sophorist at September 30, 2003 11:30 PM

It's sad that there are people in this world so petty that they'll split a family apart for a mere cheap bauble...

--TwoDragons, who is reading Bill Whittles "Power" and just realized that she is writing like Bill now...

Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at October 1, 2003 01:37 PM