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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55325
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I am not sure where to begin, this is kind of an odd

Customer Question

I am not sure where to begin, this is kind of an odd situation. With that being said here's my case... I work at an animal shelter last summer we were called in to take a dog whose owner passed away the neighbor ended up adopting dog. Fast forward to this past spring that dog passed away and the shelter I work for took the dog in to be cremated. The gentleman was quite distraught. We consoled him no different then any other individual who comes in whose animal passed away. A couple of weeks ago he came in to ask me to be the executor of his will. Needless to say I was quite surprised. I was somewhat understanding of his situation, him being mostly alone (other then his animals),no family/children and seeing what happened when his neighbor passed. So I said I would talk about with my husband and family. He mostly wants me to take in his remaining animals and leave me his remaining possessions. There's not a lot. He had told me he had talked to an attorney that did a workmans comp case for him, who told him we wouldn't need to have any documents notarized but rather can videotape us signing paperwork along with two impartial witnesses? He also wants me to be his emergency contact and have a key to his house if/when something happens to him. I am not sure I want any part of this. I feel bad for him but I don't want to make any decisions without fully knowing how this process works?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Hi Christina. My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Whether or not you want to be involved is totally up to you. This is not all that uncommon when you have an elderly person with no family. Especially when there is a bond relating to animals. People have a perception, usually a correct perception, that if people have a heart for animals they are also kind-hearted people in general. And, if they have other animals and have no one else in their lives, they look to that bond with that person to handle things when they die, especially their pets. You have no legal obligation to involve yourself now or in the future...either as the executor or as a beneficiary. Even if you agree now, you can always decline to serve as executor or disclaim any inheritance at the time of his death. This would not impose any liability on you; you would not be responsible for any of his debts and liabilities.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Do I need to sign anything? Should I sign anything?
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

No, you do not need to sign anything at this point.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Have you heard of videotaping signatures as oppose to notary?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is it a good idea for me to have a key to his house?
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

It does happen sometimes, but I would still recommend the will be notarized so that the witnesses would not have to show up at probate. It's fine to have a key, but I would never go there without someone going with you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
At what point would I need to sign something
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Only at death.

Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Until he dies, you actually need to do nothing. Only when he dies would you need to proceed to probate his will if you choose to act as executor.

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