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OMG!  Someone Just Died!

Posted on October 7th, 2020

Montana Probate Law

When someone close to your, friend or relative, dies, your brain shorts out and emotions take over. Disbelief, denial, anger, guilt – a full range of emotions. Other than calling 911, most people don’t know how to handle the death, or manage what happens next.

I once met with a young mother of minor children the morning after her husband committed suicide. She had her father along for the meeting, thank heavens. I listened to her story and then explained that if a probate was needed, it could not be filed for five days after death and that she had three years to file a probate. There was no rush, so I directed her to go home, take care of the children, take care of herself, arrange the funeral, and mourn. I advised her to come back to see me when she was ready. Two weeks later she came back into my office, and had no memory of ever having met me. Emotion had been driving her.

When someone dies, a person should take care of themselves first. Face the reality and mourn. Join with others who are also mourning and share the good memories. Don’t be afraid to laugh through the tears. And don’t expect to get over the loss any time soon. In ages past, after someone died, they recognized a year of mourning. It is a year of firsts: the first birthday without them, the first Father’s Day or Mother’s Day without them, the first Easter without them, the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, etc.

Don’t let anyone tell you to “Buck up and get on with life.”  You deserve to mourn – you have suffered a loss. Everyone handles the loss differently. One time I had three unrelated men die about the same time. Each man had a sister who was taking care of the man’s estate. One sister came to Arizona, did what she needed to do, and headed home to crawl into a bottle for year. One sister came to Arizona, did what she needed to do, headed home and proceeded to carry on the probate, sell the home and assets, and close the probate (all taking about a year), and then fell apart mourning. One came, took care of what was needed at that time, then proceeded to handle the probate in fits and starts, with frequent calls to me crying and screaming. Each one handled it differently. There is no “right” way – the only right way is your way.

When someone close to you dies, take time to mourn, and when you are ready, then go see a lawyer. If you find a lawyer experienced with probate matters and estate administration, the lawyer can guide you through the process while leaving you to express your emotions.

For more information about Montana probate law, contact Silverman Law Office today.


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