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.