Handling Grief is an Important part of the Probate Process

Losing a loved one is never easy. There are theories about grief and how to handle it. Over my 30 years as a probate attorney, I have seen many families grieving over the loss of a loved one and its devastating impact.  For some people, it takes longer to come to terms with the loss.  For others, they become busier than they ever were before in an effort to deal with their loss. At Drizin Law, we encourage clients to discuss the grieving process, and we work hard to reduce their stress by handling their matters in the same manner as we would handle our own family’s estate. probate attorney

Interestingly, common conceptions about dealing with grief may be all wrong.  More than 40 years ago, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross set forth her theory that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (known as “stage theory”).   However, in 2011 author Ruth Davis Konigsberg published “The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss”.

A Different Perspective

Konigsberg explains that current research paints a different picture of how we actually grieve. She maintains that the grieving process should not be a regimented process.  She examines how the American version of grief has spread to the rest of the world and contrasts it with the interpretations of other cultures.

The author wrote an insightful article entitled “5 Surprising Truths About Grief” that was published by AARP.  These truths included the fact that a 2001 study revealed that men actually suffer more from bereavement than women.  In addition, she notes that while well-meaning friends and relatives will often urge you to attend a support group or seek grief counseling, it is certainly not a requirement and that according to a 2008 survey, most grief seems to go away on its own.  However, for those who are seeking assistance in dealing with the loss of a loved one, there are numerous community resources available that may help.

How You Can Help

It’s difficult to know exactly what to say to offer comfort in these circumstances.  “I am sorry for your loss” seems so inadequate.  However, some of the keys to helping someone who’s grieving may include the following:

  • Don’t let fears about saying or doing the wrong thing stop you from reaching out;
  • Let them know you’re there to listen;
  • Offer to help in practical ways; and
  • Maintain your support after the funeral.


Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Probate Attorney Lee A. Drizin

Lee is an experienced Nevada Attorney. He focuses on probate, wills, trusts, guardianship and real estate for a wide range of clients.

Mr. Drizin been representing families for more than 30 years. He has represented families in all aspects of probate, trust and guardianship administration including, but not limited to, commencement of proceedings, will and trust contests, accountings, and sales of real estate.