Legacy logistics and sleeping grandfathers.

I’m often asked to manage a number of different ‘probate logistics’ projects for families and executors when estates need to be settled, organised and ‘moved on’. Some are straightforward, others not and this is where the attention to the details of ‘care’ are called for. In most cases, there is a recent bereavement, so clarity and good judgment can often be clouded by family dynamics and understandable loss.

Apart from the often tedious tasks of estate paperwork and content dispersal, there are peoples’ lives and stories to unravel. For example, which family heirlooms should be kept and shared amongst the relevant parties and what of those that need to be sold and sent out to different and new homes.

One such story involved a handsome Grandfather clock in a forgotten corner of the family home, where none of the beneficiaries knew much about it. With a history of moving fine art and antiques, my initial reaction was that this clock needed further investigation and most importantly, should not be committed to an overseas shipment in haste.

The grandfather clock had a long front door to access the pendulum – I opened it and we made an interesting discovery. The clock had a ‘service history’ on the back of the door. Various clockmakers had noted their location and the date of their work. From this we could trace the family history as the clock travelled with them through the generations. This clock took on a new meaning and after some sensitive guidance by myself, the daughter took it into her home (after careful packing and moving) to again sound its place in history. Her sibling was actually scared of its towering grandeur as a small boy, so was quite happy to choose a less foreboding piece of furniture as his share of the legacy.

It’s a story that had a happy ending but is also reflective of being sensitive of what can be dismissed in the stress of probate dispersal and family dynamics. My focus is to be the quiet yet watchful mentor throughout the process and with my trusted team of experts, ensure that all is settled and life moved on.