It amazes me how our eyes can suddenly be open to gaps in our knowledge. This happened to me at the end of January when my mother died.
After going through her papers, I found a will, which named me her executor. I had no idea how to be the executor. I did some research and found that estates do not always go into probate. It depends on how much the estate is worth. From what I could tell, my mother’s estate was worth nothing (she had a reverse mortgage and debt), but I was not sure I had the whole picture. In addition, the will was old and the bequests listed did not match the verbal promises she made to people. I did not know how I was supposed to handle that, and if I could just honor the verbal bequests or if I had to abide by what the will stated. There was so much to figure out and I was scared of doing something incorrectly.
With all of the calls to various creditors and agencies, trying to plan a funeral and memorial, coordinating travel for out-of-town family, and fielding questions about when people would receive whatever she promised them, there was no time for reflection or grief. That was the hardest part.
I relate all of this because as I tried to figure out what I had to do, I kept thinking that I wished I had prepared, that I had taken some kind of class ahead of time. It made me wonder if we could offer a program at the Library on probate. It would not help me at that point, but maybe it could help others who might find themselves in the same situation someday. Maybe it would save someone headaches with the legal aftermath of death, and allow them time and space to get through the heartache.
I hope this is the case, and that this program on September 14th and others we bring to you will have an impact on your life in positive ways, maybe by filling a gap in knowledge you did not know was there.