Russell W Hall
Dec 11, 2014
Hurme's checklists proceed from the funeral to probate, with discrete, manageable steps to organize information, assemble a team, apply for survivor's benefits, survey debts and assets, clean out the house, and so on. Each checklist includes enough narrative to inform without overwhelming. The checklists encourage delegation, especially before the funeral, when there are more volunteers than tasks.
The book is not probate-centric. A widow may prefer to file income taxes and collect life insurance before meeting a lawyer. Hurme shows how to screen and select financial advisors and tax preparers. Nonprobate assets confound the lay person, but Hurme gently and thoroughly explains what may be collected with a death certificate. Chapter 11, Get Ready for Probate, is found at the end of the book, not the beginning.
The book strikes a sound balance between what the author, an accomplished lawyer, knows and what real people need to know. A personal favorite is "Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?" which Hurme references in Chapter 10. Sort Through the Stuff and Papers.
I recommend this book as a client gift, and as required reading for new associates. I learned quite a bit myself, I'm embarrassed to report. Visit http://eepurl.com/5sDeb for my full review, including specific things this book taught me, a 20-year lawyer.