by Tina Seymour Demoran, Esquire, Seymour Law Firm, PLLC

As an estate planning attorney who also practices probate law, I see so many examples of unsavory individuals who prey upon families and widows/widowers when their spouse/parent/sibling/child passes away.

Thieves who target the homes of the deceased while they are attending the visitation and graveside services.

Thieves who target the homes of elderly widows/widowers after their spouse dies.

Calls to widows, widowers, and children of the deceased a few days, weeks, months, and even years after an obituary is published…claiming that the deceased loved one owes a bill that must be paid or legal action will be taken against the         deceased’s estate or the family.

Letters from medical facilities or collection companies, threatening legal action against the wife, children, or grandchildren if they do not pay a medical or other type of bill that was left behind by the deceased, or sign a document taking full           responsibility for the deceased’s bills.

How do you protect yourself when you are grieving the loss of a loved one?

Have someone “housesit” while the family is attending services for the deceased.

Install a security system for your home or upgrade your current security system.

Ensure that there is a “check-in” system in place with your neighbors and with your family in case of an emergency.

When in doubt, call an attorney and let them assist you with confirming whether or not a call/letter/bill/subpoena is legitimate.

Never sign a document you receive that makes you personally responsible for your deceased loved one’s death.

Yes, Seymour Law Firm, PLLC does provide free seminars on these, and other topics. If you would like for us to provide a free seminar on this subject for a group or organization, please call us at 228-697-3476.