“Keep your eye on the ball,” and “don’t drop the ball” are two oft used phrases to warn people that bad things can happen if they do not pay attention and take prompt action. Such is the case when someone dies.
I have known of circumstances where a parent died owning real estate, and due to inaction by family members, the property was foreclosed upon by the mortgage lender thereby costing the family more money than was necessary. Indeed, even with distressed properties, with prompt action one may open an estate and sell the property at better terms than what one might recover after a foreclosure.
Another example is from a recent court case. In that case, it did not come to light until years after death that a disabled person’s guardian improperly transferred the disabled person’s house to himself, and the court, by means of an internal oversight, did not take action to protect the disabled person’s property. By the time the heir who was rightfully entitled to inherit such property became aware of the matter, it was too late to recover the asset. Again, prompt action would have resulted in a more favorable outcome.
It is important that you keep your eye on the ball to ensure that proper steps are being taken to administer the affairs of a loved one after that person dies. Even if someone else had been designated to take charge of your loved one’s affairs, if that person has done nothing, then you need to step up to take charge of the situation yourself.
The penalties for inaction can be harsh. Rightful heirs and those intended to inherit a deceased person’s property could lose out on the opportunity to inherit if prompt action is not taken to protect one’s rights.
William Gatesman stands ready to assist clients in taking such prompt action, and is prepared to assist clients to protect their interests even when much time has passed since the death of a loved one.