This is a very small firm with incompetent assistants who have no real knowledge of the law.
BUYER BEWARE: This is a very small firm with incompetent assistants who have no real knowledge of the law. Or if they do, they were trying to extort a consult fee in exchange for a copy of a will. Here is our story:
12/22: Received a call from the grandson of my mom’s best friend who I lovingly called Aunt, letting me know that he had spoken with Haley from Graham & Theander and I had been named as executor to her estate. He said he was told that I could obtain a copy of her will because I was named as the executor but he could not. As I now understand, anyone named in the will can obtain a copy. Anyway, I called and spoke with Melissa and after some back and forth between her and Kerri, I was told that 1.) didn’t need a copy because it was just a copy and would do me no good. And 2.) if I wanted a copy, I would have to make a $275 appointment and come in and consult with Kerri Graham AFTER the new year. At that point, I told Melissa this just didn’t sound right and I would check with my lawyer and get back to her.
12/26: I called and left a message for Kerri Graham to please give me a call about Karen’s will.
12/27: I called and spoke with Melissa again. I requested a copy of the will AGAIN and was AGAIN told I would need to make the $275 appointment and the first appointment was January 5th. I made the appointment but expressed that her grandson was trying to make funeral arrangements and needed the copy of the will because we were fairly certain that the original is in a safety deposit box. Melissa again spoke with Kerri, and I received another call from Melissa telling me that the will was just a copy and would do me no good. At this point, her grandson, who is on leave from the military, began making funeral arrangements without knowing his grandmother’s wishes.
12/28: Feeling somewhat frustrated, I again called Kerri Graham’s office and spoke with Tish. I was told that Melissa was “looking” for the copy of Karen’s will and had not yet been able to locate it. They would let me know when it was located. I told Tish that this was simply unacceptable. I had to explain to her that, as if it were some foreign practice that she’d never heard of, the will likely contained Karen’s wishes for her funeral. Suddenly, she was able to locate an unsigned final draft and read it to me over the phone (without my ID) And, sure enough, while the grandson was working to have his grandmother buried, her wishes were to be cremated. At that point I asked for a copy of the unsigned version, because who knew what else we could be missing. Sadly, I was denied that request.
12/29: I called back requesting an update on the location of the will and was told that it still had not been located. It was at this point that I got angry. I was given the run around for days. Her grandson almost buried his grandmother against her wishes. And Kerri and her staff made their incompetence our problem. I promised my Aunt that I would follow her wishes and make sure this was as easy on her grandson as I could. Not only did Graham and Theander fail us, they held the will hostage for a $275 consult fee. So, after arguing with Tish and Melissa, Kerri called me back with attitude. And while I was angry, and I believe rightly so, I was trying to explain the sequence of events that had occurred and that we almost buried my Aunt. Kerri didn’t care and didn’t want to hear it and it was at that point that she threatened to hang up on me. She finally said they have privacy laws they must follow and “as Tish told me”, I would have to come in provide ID if I wanted a copy of the will (which had been sitting on her desk the entire time). 1.) I was NEVER given that option and 2.) that’s when I jumped in the car and went over there with my ID and picked up a copy of the will. It was THAT simple and something that could have happened a week prior and would have saved us all from a lot of unnecessary stress at an already stressful time.