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Piecing It Together

Signs of stress are common during probate consultations. There is no way around it. It is a stress inducing situation. At the outset, at its most basic, probate is about putting a puzzle together. What and Where become the biggest questions. What did the decedent own? Where is it? Then, after we’ve found those pieces: what can we do?

Sometimes the puzzle pieces fit together easily. Other times a few pieces seem to have all but disappeared or maybe these pieces don’t even belong to the same puzzle. It isn’t that the puzzle cannot be put together. It’s a matter of what it takes to put it together. How much hunting, how much sorting?

A picture of the goal is always helpful. A picture of the completed puzzle can illuminate the pieces’ proper place. That’s what estate planning does. It shows us what and where. It gives us a guide, a map, for getting to the finish line.