We’ve all had them…those moments when your heart stops and your brain goes into panic meltdown…the unexpected, horrible instant of realization that we’ve done something that seems irreversibly wrong…like inviting both sets of in-laws over for Christmas holidays at the same time…Mine came during the writing of my first novel…I clicked something on my laptop (who the hell knows what?..), and Hey Presto! three months of work disappeared from the screen…I was so stricken, I couldn’t even scream…happily, the sensible part of the household recognised the terror in my face, stepped up to the scene of the disaster, and with a simple click of the fingers reversed the action,, and I got all the work back…(How do women know how to do stuff like that?)…Life-shortening as the episode undoubtedly was, it taught me the basic lesson, BACK UP YOUR WORK…Now here’s my Guest Blogger for today, Una Tiers with an even more relevant message…enjoy…and learn, guys and gals…thanks, Una…
Saving Paper by Una Tiers (author of Judge vs Nuts)
Occasionally I write and then hunt for the document, which, when missing, gains in brilliance as my panic escalates. When will I learn to back up and be organized? As my general disposition is to teach about the law, especially in my writing, I’ll give you an example of saving an important document, written by a third party, wrapping up your financial picture.
The most important document that likely will be ghost written, by an attorney, is your will. The exact document signed by you and the witnesses needs to be located immediately after your demise in order for a court to recognize it and distribute the wealth.
Mama Cass Elliot, a brilliant singer with the Mamma’s and the Papa’s in the 70s, died in 1974 at age 32, leaving behind a minor daughter, mother, sister and brother. She also left more debt than money. Although she executed a will, it was not located when she died.
A few years later, a resurgence in her music caused the insolvent estate to turn into a healthy estate. Her entire estate went to her minor daughter.
In 2011, the Last Will and Testament of Mama Cass was located by an archivist at the law firm where the will was prepared. I have no idea what an archivist in this context means. Her brother and sister sued the law firm that wrote and stored the will, (and conducted the probate administration) alleging that had they produced the will when she died, their mother would have received a share of the estate and when their mother died, they would have inherited that money.
Not much has been in the news about the story after the suit was filed, suggesting an out of court settlement in the malpractice matter. The lesson you can take from this is that when you write, you need to back up and identify the file to locate it another day. When you write a will, you must share the location with your friends or family so that the hard work will surface if and when you go to that big bookstore in the sky.
Dying to visit Chicago? Join Fiona Gavelle in Judge vs Nuts for a tale about corruption that has been described as hilariously funny. See the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55XqIbk0VY4
Judge vs Nuts in eBook: http://www.amazon.com/Judge-vs-Nuts-ebook/dp/B007BSD4RU