Choose a lawyer that suits you
Paul Brennan is the principal of Brennans Solicitors, a law firm located on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, where he practices with his wife, Diane in the areas of business law, litigation, property and wills/estates.
Over the years, by working in various countries, he noticed how similar the law can be. He set out to explain the law in a simple and often humorous way.
I think most of us like feeling sorry for ourselves from time to time, or all the time in some cases. However, in my experience, it is far more satisfying for other people to feel sorry for you and then for you to reluctantly join in.
When dying, even your enemies could feel a little sorry to see you go.
Regrettably, this death bed “perk” has been devalued lately by so many dying people just not going due to some last minute medical or spiritual tinkering. Professionals call it the “Long Goodbye Syndrome”. Legally this really can be very irritating, especially for the beneficiaries.
However, even if it is just a “dummy run”, preparing for death can be a positive experience provided that you choose the right lawyer. Ideally, choose one a few years younger than yourself. An older lawyer could steal the limelight and a young lawyer may just not “give a monkey’s”.
You need to try and convince your doctor that you are worth saving just in case he or she comes across a last minute cure. With a priest you must be forgiving and repentant so that he puts in a good word for you.
However, with your lawyer, you can just be yourself.
If you do not feel you are a “standard will” sort of person and are looking for something special, test run a few of the sportier models. I am talking about clauses such as: wastrel sons, alcoholic daughters-in-law, former wives, coddled pets, hated neighbours, bizarre charities, the works.
For instance, a perennial favourite is the “Overbearing Husband Special”. Your husband may be being all nice to you now because you are dying but that does not excuse the 25 years of misery that he has put you through. This is your chance for revenge. In fact, it is your last chance for revenge.
Lawyers can do “tea and sympathy” but a critical use is a frank, unsentimental discussion about your money and the people in your life.
Do not be one of those unlucky people who drop dead and miss out on all this.
Extract from "A LEGAL GUIDE TO DYING-baby boomer edition."
© Paul Brennan 2008-16. All Rights Reserved.