Today I was reminded why I have been called to the practice of Wills and Estates. I received an e-mail and several phone calls this morning telling me that a good friend and member of our church had suffered a sudden heart attack and died late last night. I had just talked to this man on Sunday and regularly sit next to him in Sunday School class. His wife is a member of our choir and sang a special solo Sunday morning. Little did we know that it would be the last time he heard her sing this side of heaven.
As the shock of the news settled in I began to think like a lawyer. I suppose that will be the curse of this profession. No matter what the situation, our brains are trained to automatically process things in terms of the law. Bobby was well known in our town and had a lot of business interests. And so I found myself involuntarily thinking, “I hope he had a will.” (I found out after posting this that he does) I know that sounds cold and I mean no disrespect for my friend, but it is a fact that each of us must prepare for that day when we step off this earth and into eternity. There’s an old hymn entitled “What Will I Leave Behind” and while it speaks of the reputation and memories we will leave behind it is also true that we leave the physical things of life as well.
And that’s why I am called to practice, at least in part, in Wills and Estates. In my Christian life I want to help people prepare for what awaits us after death and as a lawyer I want to help people prepare for what they leave here on earth. Families need to be able to mourn their loss without worrying about how they will pay for the funeral or what happens to the family business. Many times, especially in today’s fractured society, the deceased leaves behind a blended family with no direction on how their estate should be distributed. It’s a sad comment but there is nothing like an argument over money to split a family. My desire, my calling, is to help individuals prepare for that day in the most comprehensive way possible. I hope that I serve my chosen profession well in that regard.
Good-bye Bobby. Rest in peace until we meet again.