To help others as us, we will share my dad's
process through Mobile Probate Court on these pages.
I will begin working on this Feb. 2006.
Yes, it took near 5 years from his passing
to even get to probate court, due to our step family. Come back often for up dates through the process, this may help
your loved ones suffer less!
It seems as far back as I can remember dad tried to
prepare us/me for his passing. I can recall each time he brought up the uncomfortable subject I hated, of what would
be what, how the boys and I would be O.K. when he passed, as he finished, I would always tell him to spend it all before he
passed. I meant that too. He wanted someday to ease our worries, but, there is in our mind no amount which could ever replace
my dad, and boys grandfather.
When he retired from his last shop, he asked me
if there was anything I wished to have. I told him if I could, he had a old worn plaque from Chevy, when he became one of
their Certified Master Mechanic's, I would love to have. This now long tarnished worn lettered plaque hung in every shop
my dad owned from 1968 until the 1990s. Each time he out grew, moved and opened new bigger shop doors, this was the first
of things he proudly hung over his office desk. It was one of the first things going up, and always the last taken down.
So, the day he closed the last shop doors for good, before those doors closed, he took it off the wall. Then he brought it
to me, wrapped ever so carefully, eyes twinkling, knowing all it meant to us, he smiled and handed it to me saying, "I think
you asked for this". With tears I unwrapped it with the greatest care as the treasure it was in the memories it brought
with it of my dad, our times together, all the shops, his many many years of back breaking hard work all in this old metal
object. Little did I know had he not done that then, we may not have that dull old beloved plaque proudly hanging on my livngroom
wall displayed as any grand Da Vinci, and far more prized. You see for others it would have just been trash, old, falling
apart, old newspaper stuffed in the long worn away backing to help it stay better on the walls, hard to read, of little meaning.
But in the right family members hands, a treasure beyond any compare. I hope our experience helps you with all your
large and small treasures to be passed to the loved ones you intend.
So in the sharing of our experience in dad''s probate, a path we
ourselves had never gone through, just maybe this may help others, one of those things which dad always did
The Mobile Probate judge made a ruling on Dec. 19, 2005. I called Probate
court, and they told me to contact the estate attorney. Which I sent certified letter to, and it was returned. I called Probate
Court again on what to do. They said to retain an attorney. I cried, 500 miles away, and now find an attorney one could trust.
I prayed, went to the Mobile Newspaper online, (which to this point other then probate court kept me a bit informed on the
will progress in 5 years, Dad passed in 2001, it is now 2006), and we found a forum. Thinking maybe I just had the wrong
address for the estate attorney, I asked in the forum if anyone knew the attorney, and maybe had a new contact address. All
responses confirmed what information Mobile Probate Court had given me. One poster told me to go by another forum and post
my message, for I might get more help. I did. A poster responded I found out in our first call he was an attorney
and he told me he could help, he gave me his cell phone number, and office. He said the first consultation was free. I did
call the office to see if it was in fact a law firm, for online anyone can say anything. So I called his office again he was
not in, then told to call his cell phone,, and I told him our story. I was told to send him $$$, and he could get started
by sending a Letter of Demand Discovery to attorneys handling dad's estate. His retainer was $$$, but would help if I could
get him $$$ to get started, we did with full intent to send more once we saw what he did with what was sent he asked
us to send and told him so, he said send no more for now. We waited, and then called after a month. He was out of the office
but I was told by a very busy secretary he had spoke with the estate attorney, and had sent one nice letter to her. It seems
everything was lost of the Attorney handling dad's will they created on his death bed due to Katrina. I said, what do
they need for dad gave us some of his papers for safe keeping before he died, for he had begun to mistrust what was going
on in Ala., as they were not doing what he asked to be done, we may have what they need? I have the certified land
survey he gave us just before he died, as well other papers. She said she would ask him. To which I've yet recieved a
answer. At that point I emailed again through the forum to contact the attorney were I had found him, for he fell quiet.
He then emailed me he would send the copies of 2 letters he had sent to the estate attorney, and please not to send any more
$ for he still had some $ to work with. We waited, the papers in the mail did not come, I emailed again, they were in
the mail, so far they have not arrived. He then posted/emailed the forum of receiving a job offer of Asst. DA he was
taking, we congratulated him. Our next contact was from an attorney he handed his cases over to. I went over our issues with
them again, ( you see with each new attorney you must re-live the entire event so they understand your case, it helps them
greatly, and is always hard). We just wanted closer to this, and we now had a court order, what do they need to follow
the judge's orders? They went over their fees to me, they had no record of my payments to the other attorney, (we kept
recpts. be sure you do as well always). They then said they would send copy of all that was in the file they had, and sent
me copies of papers I had sent over-night to the asst. D.A., plus the one copy of the letter of announcing him as being our
attorney and that was all. It arrived about three days after post mark. Of which I informed them what we had paid, that
those were all copies of what I had sent the other attorney, except for the one letter, and we had been told to send
no more $ for we still had credit on what was not used.
Now to my understanding I am to pay another attorney retainer fee to take
on this new attorney we have been handed to, less some credit for work done. They also made sure we knew they were not in
Mobile, and it would be better if we used a attorney in Mobile, for thier travel expenses would be included with fees.
Thus,,, If you have picked up anything from this experiance: PLEASE make
a will out now, sign EVERY page, have it witnessed by who YOU decide should while you are in sound mind, before other’s
you never intended take everything you worked for in your entire life, instead of your loved ones you intend.
Stay tuned, I will keep you updated!
For a time referance, today is May 15, 2006
On June 17, 2006,, the asst. D.A. returned our payments in full for work he was unable to perform
due to new obligations in his new asst. D.A. position. The only paper work, or work by his office we received over the
months of work done was a letter to the estate attorney, Mrs. Barbara Holley Reid, announcing he was now our acting
attorney and for her the estate attorney to contact him. It was sent over night after I emailed him I would have my post
office trace all the mail so we could find it, or what had been lost, I can't imagine so much being lost, this problem really
had to be fixed if they were lossing it all. Payment was then over nighted, as our payments had been to him. We never complained
of paying for any work done, or paying more for any future work. I am sure he must have did what he reported to us, we just
truly wish we had received any copy of it. We wish him karma in his future as we part life paths moving on in our search for
I contacted the attorney handling dad’s asbestos case in Mobile, and
they recommended calling Mobile Probate Court, telling them what was happening. Who in turn not believing it should have taken
this long either, or attorney acting as such, referred us to The Mobile Bar, to file a complaint against the estate attorney,
and tell them our story. I have decided to send her, (the estate attorney, Mrs. Barbara Holley Reid), one more letter in hopes
it is not again returned to us, notifying her of the up coming actions on our part with The Mobile Bar concerning her, and
dad’s estate. We only wish the Mobile Probate judge’s order’s followed, and closer. If she fails to further
follow through with the Mobile Probate judge’s estate orders made on Dec. 19, 2005 we will have no other recourse then
to contact The Mobile Bar and pursue further actions in their arena of relief. By the same letter again too we will ask the
main question no one asked we always wished asked, of, ‘What does she need to close this, for much of dad’s paper
work he left or sent here in the end years because of trust issues there, so what she needs could be here??” So here’s
our standing on dad’s last wishes, we promise as always to keep you updated, just maybe you’ll learn something
or get that Will done NOW, so maybe passing on may not be so hard on other loved ones left behind.
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