I am concerned that the Monday syndicated column “Smart Money” could actually be harmful if a reader relied on the advice given without doing further research. Specifically, the topic on “Probating a will” may be appropriate advice for those living in Florida, but is possibly misleading for California residents.
The Probate process in California is not always “a relatively painless proposition,” as it takes a minimum of six months and the costs generally exceed $8,000.
The author of the column does not give any disclaimer that his advice may not be applicable for all states or that he is not a lawyer - (I notice on his website he does answer questions with the appropriate disclaimers, however). There is enough confusion and misinformation shared “on the street.” We certainly do not need it to be spread via print media.