Thursday, February 28, 2008

Really, he's dead? We can Help!

We've all heard the expression "Ambulance Chasers" which most often refers to attorneys (rightly or wrong) who follow an injured party to determine whether or not their services can be of use; usually in a wrongful injury, death or something along those lines. If any of you have seen the 1992 movie "My cousin Vinnie" which starred Joe Pesci, I'm sure you remember his character, Vincent Gambini, who in the middle of a bar room scene asks an obviously injured man wearing a neck brace where he hurt his neck; was it at home, on the job, maybe at someone else's house? When the man responded that it was no ones fault, Vincent Gambini replied, "too bad". Although satirical, this was an example of how "Ambulance Chasers" are portrayed.

In the past ten days since my father has passed I have come to coin a phrase of my own; "Coffin Chasers". Yes, "Coffin Chasers". Let me explain myself a bit. It all began innocently enough the day of my fathers wake when a realtor who will remain nameless, visited the funeral home to pay her respects. This realtor had sold my father his home nearly six years ago and had never had any contact with him since; they were not friends. I also used this realtor when I purchased my home and have spoken to her perhaps 3 times in the last 9 years, very briefly; we're not friends either. When I first saw her I thought it was extremely nice of her to visit.

About three days later, just after his burial I received a solicitation, a phone call from a local attorney, again not a friend, advising me that I needed to find my fathers will and bring it to her and she would take care of everything from there. At the time I thought it very odd that she was calling me advising me what I needed to do, especially since I had not asked for her help. As the days progressed I received a letter from an unknown attorney again advising me that their firm would be happy to assist in the probate and distribution process; all I needed to do was call the number on the business card provided. So far this doesn't sound too bad, I know. I have been asked by other people who have no right in my opinion to even broach the subject, what my intentions are with certain property, you see they would "like to invest". Another gentleman, using the term lightly, has advised me that before I sell anything, a friend of his would like to speak to me first and we can avoid paying a realtor. Others have told me what I need to do, or who I need to give the contents of his home to, I've gotten sympathy cards from bankers I don't even know....every one of these "helpful", opportunistic people have simply taken it upon themselves to let me know what I need to do and have no right in my book to even stick their noses in. I can't help but read their thoughts of possible gain from my fathers death and would really like to spit at them.

Now I realize that right now I'm a little sensitive when it comes to this matter, and have to admit that I can be very cynical at times, but I can't see this type of behavior. It's all communicated under the guise that they are trying to help and would be welcomed...IF I HAD ASKED! I try to think of it in reverse and wonder how it would be accepted or what kind of a shit I would be if I visited or wrote families that I deal with and asked them these same questions or gave them this same advice. I have had experience in sales and I know I'm now a "prospect", simply by virtue of an obituary, but a line needs to be drawn defining when and how this contact should be allowed.

In conclusion, if any of these people have done what they have simply out of concern or respect I apologize, but if they haven't....they'll just have to read between the lines of the three upheld fingers of my right hand.

14 comments:

paisley said...

this is a very common practice.. not just for deaths either,, try getting arrested or have someone you live with get arrested.. you will receive a minimum of thirty letters and or calls from atty's who want to help you... this world is sick and getting sicker every day....

The Tin Woman said...

Rob's Dad used to tell us all the time about the millions of people who would call and do the same thing. Next on the list from what I remember of his tale are the credit card companies who will encourage you to sign on with them while you are canceling your loved one's account. Rob's mother had been gone for years and they were still getting calls.

People are such opportunists -- makes me sick. Would you believe I even got letters from lawyers after I left my job -- in case I felt my termination was wrongful and wanted to spend $$ I no longer had to prove it.

Lenette said...

Trolling for leads. I'm with Paisley on this, it's the same come on everyone receives after the birth of a child, a DWI arrest, bankruptcy or any other item that appears in the public record.

Matty said...

That is just so damn sick! Really...how cold and greedy is that?
I'm so sorry you have to go through this when your dad just died.
These are definitely people that I wouldn't give a call-back to. How very cold and heartless.
It really says a lot about the world we live in and our morals and value's..doesn't it?
Sad & sick...
and I won't even speak about family...because sometimes they can be just as greedy...even when someone dies and they didn't have much...the vulture's will surely land.
Myheart goes out to you...take the time you need to grieve..hope you threw away their cards.

Catherine said...

The term "vultures" comes to mind...ugh.

Anonymous said...

How absolutely awful. And I am just thinking how would an elderly partner of someone cope with all this.
I can see them being totally confused and perhaps signing something they surely would regret.
This sort of thing is just terrible.
Don't know how widespread it is in Australia, but am asuming the same thing happens here.

Jen

happy said...

being a lawyer myself, i really get sad with the connotation of being an ambulance chaser.

deathsweep said...

Don't be too saddened Happy, Every industry, career, has its own version of "Ambulance Chasers", the ones who follow their pocketbooks before their ethics. They are not common, thankfully.

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karen said...

I just wanted to stop in to say that you are missed in the blogosphere. I know that you are sorting through so much right now. But if and whenever you feel like blogging again your words will be welcomed. In the meantime, peace be with you.

Catherine said...

I miss you and hope that you are doing OK.

*hugs*

Catherine said...

Hello again. :) Just wanted to say hi and I hope that you are alright. I've missed ya!!!

*hugs*

bloggers said...

interesting post,

Anonymous said...

I will reserve my comments only to the real estate agents. I worked for four years in a very large realty with about sixty five agents. Out of those sixty five, I found there were only two I put any trust in at all. I have never seen such backstabbing and unethical practices in my life.

They all belong to a nice church because that is where the 'nice' new buyers can be found.

They actually will send flowers to new mothers in the hospital just in case a larger home is in the near future. There is no occassion that is too sacred or private to those parasites. They check the paper from beginning to end to mark the divorces, births along with the deaths.

Those people live in a world all their own and it is a world that feeds on greed. It is very ugly when you see it up close and personal.