mellicious: pink manicure (HP - Phoenix)
[personal profile] mellicious
[profile] chanfaina, or anybody else who has any idea about this - what's a reasonable amount to pay for an estate lawyer? This should be a relatively simple thing - everything is divided equally between my sister and me. There is a townhouse, and a reasonable (but not huge) amount of money that I believe is mostly in CDs. (To tell you the truth, I haven't even gotten as far as having a good idea how much money there is. I'm planning to get into that this weekend.) I'm just looking for a ballpark figure about what I can expect to pay. I am more or less intending to use the lawyer who drew up my mother's will - it's a firm that specializes in this stuff - but I would like to have some clue so I can know if they are overcharging me!

Well, the funeral is over. It wasn't as wrenching as I thought it might be. Attendance was quite good, although nobody did a headcount that I know of. I'd say there were at least a hundred people there, maybe more. A whole lot of teachers from Alvin showed up, including some people I hadn't seen in years and years, and one well into her 90s. A lot of the quilt guild showed up, as expected, and a couple of car-loads from her hometown, which is considerably further away. The service was very nice. We draped several of her quilts over the altar-rail, and people really seemed to like that. I teared up a couple of times, but never completely broke down, and neither did my sister. (We both tend to cry pretty easily, so we were both fairly surprised about this.)

The "coffee and pastries" which the church provided after the service turned out to be a pretty substantial spread. We brought more food home than we can ever possibly eat. We also brought home a number of nice plants. We jammed a couple of the big flower arrangements into the car, and took them by the nursing home on the way out. Somebody also sent a gorgeous heart-shaped wreath of yellow flowers - sunflowers and roses and other stuff - that we left at the church because we couldn't figure out what else to do with it. (We couldn't even get it off of the stand so we couldn't see how we could put it into a car at all!)

We pulled all the cards off of the flowers, of course, but now I can't figure out how to word the thank-you notes if I don't know who sent which one. Can I say "thank you for the lovely arrangement" if it was a plant? Some of you smart people, help me out here.

Overall, it was really a pretty overwhelming day. It was almost like being the bride, in the sense that I was the person everybody wanted to talk to. Y'all remember that feeling? You can't sit down because you keep having to stop to talk to people? My sister came in for a lot of it, too, of course - but I got more because I knew more people than she did. Everybody loved my mother, they really did - and it was wonderful hearing all that, but ultimately also really, really exhausting. I told my boss (who was there, as were several of my coworkers and ex-coworkers) that I would probably come in tomorrow, but maybe not until after lunch. I need a rest.

(Not in order)

Date: 2007-02-15 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, Mel. I am glad that so many people came out to let you know how much they valued your mom, and still very sorry about the circumstances that prompted it.

I think "arrangement" covers it just fine. I am kind of a secret bitch about thank-you notes, but all of my rules go out the window when it comes to funeral flowers and such.

As for how much the lawyer should cost...what is the lawyer doing for you? Is s/he going to probate your mom's estate? Send out notices to creditors? Prepare the tax returns? Or is this for work s/he did before your mom died (the planning part)? S/he should be able to give you an estimate (along with a breakdown of exactly what services s/he will be providing). And you can do some of the crappy, time consuming stuff yourself if you want to control costs.

(I'll PM you my contact info & we can get into it more, ok?)

Take care.

Re: (Not in order)

Date: 2007-02-15 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm, not the tax returns, because she has an accountant for that. And as far as I know the stuff the lawyer did before is paid for. I don't think she has any major creditors, although there could be some hospital bills outstanding that I don't know about. (Do you have to post a notice in the paper? I saw something about that somewhere along the line.)

I do appreciate the help. I just feel so lost when it comes to all this stuff. I've sort of blown off thinking about it much for the past week, but now I think I'd better not do that much longer!

Date: 2007-02-15 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Thank you for the lovely addition to the floral display," perhaps?

Date: 2007-02-15 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Or the ever popular "Thank you so much for remembering my mother in such a lovely way. The family really appreciated it, and I know she did, too."


Date: 2007-02-15 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree that a general thanks for the gift in memory of your mother would be the way to go. I think anyone would understand if you didn't comment on the specific gift.

I'm glad the service went well.

You're in my thoughts. Take care.

Date: 2007-02-15 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Y'all are probably right. I generally think it's cheating not to say what the gift is in a thank-you note, since it sounds like you don't know - but I guess chanfaina is right that for a funeral the rules are off, to a certain extent. Thank goodness.


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