Recently, I met with a kind gentleman (let’s call him Joe) doing his best to honor the dying wishes of his brother (let’s call him Bob). At Bob's request, Joe promised to manage Bob's modest estate and ensure that Bob's children received an inheritance. They even found a legal document online (a durable power of attorney) they thought would give Joe the authority to manage Bob's estate after he died. They both had good intentions. Fast forward a few months… Bob has passed, and Joe begins to take steps to honor his promise to his brother. He tries to make burial arrangements and attempts to list and sell Bob's property, but quickly learns that Bob's ex-wife and children are at odds. And what’s more, Joe discovers that, at Bob's death, the power of attorney Bob signed no longer works. Joe now has NO AUTHORITY to handle Bob’s affairs, and he’s faced with the realization that, in order to honor his promise to his brother, he’s looking at significant legal fees and a long, involved (and likely contentious) court proceeding. Joe’s and Bob’s good intentions weren’t enough, and Joe is now left with an absolute mess. It doesn’t have to be this way for you and your family. Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” If you’re interested in a free consultation to find out how I can help your family avoid a similar fate, please contact me at (813) 244-7758 or Ross@RossSpanoLaw.com.