“Scott Just Did A Great Job. He Was Very Professional, Very Prepared And He Essentially Won The Case For Us.”
For many years, everyone knew it was the intention of Leona Lusk to split her estate in equal shares among her four children, Terry Lusk’s father being one of them. However, Terry’s father died before Leona resulting in Terry and his siblings now being the benefactors of his father’s share of the estate. Picture their surprise when they learned after their grandmother’s death that a new estate plan was in place with a new sole beneficiary.
Further investigation exposed disturbing details.
Terry’s family, being fully convinced of wrong doing, knew they had to hire an attorney to fight for their share of the inheritance.
“Scott bent over backwards and reached out to them [the other family members] numerous times to try to get them involved.”
It was discovered that prior to her death, Leona had been diagnosed with dementia.
Around that time, a neighbor became increasingly more involved in Leona’s life and began taking care of most of Leona’s day-to-day affairs. After a fall at home, Leona was taken to the hospital for treatment where she was diagnosed with dementia. However, the diagnosis was a bit uncertain – one stating she had mid-stage dementia and another stating late-stage dementia.
Leona’s daughter, who lived locally, also become more involved in her mother’s life during this time and began taking on a more active role in Leona’s financial affairs – signing all the hospital documents and paying the hospital bills with Leona’s money. Less than a month later, she even went as far as to have Leona sign a Quit Claim Deed in an attempt to transfer Leona’s property over to her. Fortunately, the deed did was not recorded due to an error at the Register of Deed’s office.
It was at that time that Leona and her daughter met with an estate-planning attorney, where Leona requested that a new estate plan be drafted leaving everything to her daughter. However, her daughter failed to tell the attorney that Leona had been diagnosed with dementia, or of the existence of another estate plan.
During the trial, the new estate-planning attorney claimed Leona was fine and although she acknowledged the existence of the previous plan, could not recall the name of the attorney who had drafted the document. Unfortunately, he did not question the situation or investigate further. In addition, just one month after the new estate plan had been drafted Leona’s primary physician noticed symptoms of dementia and began prescribing anti-dementia medication. He too had not been informed of the hospital’s dementia diagnosis. However, during the trial stated he was not surprised Leona had been diagnosed.
Scott just did a great job. He was very professional, very prepared and he essentially won the case for us.
Scott stayed on his game the whole time and did a great job managing the family situation, which was probably harder than the actual case. “When we got to trial it was actually embarrassing for this other attorney,”said Terry. “Scott had all this stuff pulled together. Scott did all the work. He was really prepared. The other attorney didn’t do any of the work. He thought we didn’t have a case. But It was still a little bit of a crap shoot whether or not we would win,” said Terry. “But in the end the Judge ruled in our favor.”
Nevertheless, it wasn’t over yet. There was still one more trial ahead for Terry and his brother before the case would be finished. “To make a long story short – the other attorney, after going through all of this and costing everyone a lot of time and money, finally ended up coming to us and just settling for what we wanted.”
“He was very nice about answering their questions even though he didn’t need to. He was very patient and tried to explain to them that it was in their best interest to get involved, but they still did not want to do it. He did a good job managing a very tedious family problem that many times breaks families apart.”