Where There's A Will...


peyton2_icon.gif silver_icon.gif

Scene Title Where There's A Will…
Synopsis Peyton needs a will. She somehow ends up in Silver's office.
Date June 24, 2010

Taylor and Reynolds Office of Law: Silver's Office

Most of Peyton Whitney's decisions in the past have been motivated by whim and spontaneity. This is not one of them.

She approaches the law firm of Taylor and Reynolds clutching a thick accordion-style file folder that's been meticulously organized — some by her parents long ago, some more recently organized by herself. If nothing else, she's become a good organizer in the past few months, thanks to her "duties" in her job as Cardinal's secretary.

She made the appointment a couple of days ago. It would probably have made more sense to go to her family's lawyer, more familiar with the Whitney estate, Peyton's trust fund, and the like — but he was also a family friend, a college buddy of her father's, and Peyton didn't want to answer the uncomfortable questions he would ask.

Because setting up a will is not something that most 21-year-olds, even those with a few million dollars in assets, want to talk about. And it's certainly something that Peyton in particular would never have considered — in fact, had declined to do in the past, thanks to that youthful delusion of immortality.

Peyton's been disillusioned, now, thanks to the past year of her life and June 10th, specifically. She approaches the receptionist, setting the heavy folder on the countertop that divides them. "Peyton Whitney for the 11 o'clock appointment," she says politely.

The receptionist glances at the calendar on her computer and wrinkles up her nose. "Ms. Whitney, Mr. Taylor had wanted handle your case personally and so we scheduled you in for all morning with him, however, he's had a family emergency arise. Let me see who can fill in for you." She picks up the phone and punches a couple of numbers. "James, I have Peyton whitney in the lobby and she was to see Mr. Taylor but as you know.." Pause. "It's an estate case. Yes. I know you don't. I know, but Mr. Taylor took a personal interest in this." There's a pause and she looks up and smiles, nodding. "I'll send her right in." She hangs up the phone and points. "Mr. silver will see you. It's down the hall and to the left."

There's a slight furrow of Peyton's brows. Clearly whoever she's being passed off on is either unhappy about or unable to handle the situation. "Thank you," she says, anyway, with a nod, before heading down the hallway, looking for Mr. Silver's office. Dressed for a meeting with a lawyer, she doesn't look like a typical 21-year-old, in navy blue Chanel dress suit that's reminiscent of the sixties Chanel line. Her high heels, bringing her up to about 5'10", herald her entrance, especially when they pause just outside his door before stepping in.

"Mr. Silver?" she asks from the doorway, not wanting to interrupt him if he's hard at work.

It's not that he was unhappy, it's just that he's got a couple of things going on with some criminal cases. He's dressed with a white dress shirt, navy tie and slacks as he sits behind his desk. The jacket that goes with his suit is draped over another chair as he glances up from his computer and stands as the knock comes, "Please come on in."

Bending down he starts to close out some stuff he's working on and opening up a new program to help out Peyton as he points to the chair in front of him, then offers his hand as he stands up straight again. "James Silver. Sorry to have had to shuffle you around. Family emergency. But we''ll get you taken care of. How about you tell me exactly what it is you need and we'll go from there."

"Peyton Whitney," Peyton answers, taking the proffered hand and shaking it lightly in her own before sitting down and setting the file on the desk.

"I need to make a will," she says, succinctly enough. "I … think this is all the stuff I own." The "Stuff" she owns has gotten a little complicated more recently, with the sudden "windfall" of Albert Winslow's estate into her lap, but she's managed to organize most of it into the file. Luckily her adoptive father's living will and trust is easy enough to follow.

Reaching for the paperwork, Silver glances up at with a nod as she speaks and then responds, "Okay. Let me take a few minutes to look over what you have here and see if I have any questions." As noted, the stuff that was part of the windfall is done rather nicely, so he hasn't any issues with that portion of it. He studies the documents as he flips through them, looking for key words.

It takes him about fifteen minutes to peruse the information and then he nods. "Okay. Let me ask you a few question before we really get our hands into this." He flips back a few pages in it and notes the trust that handled her father's estate and glances up. "Is there a reason you didn't use the original lawyer who handled your father's trust? He would have been far more qualified considering he is already aware of most of what we have here."

So much for avoiding the questions she wanted to avoid. But obviously, any good lawyer would ask that question. Peyton glances to the side, studying the wall and any decor that might be there, giving a slight nod. "While I would appreciate his legal advice, of course," she begins, her voice a study of neutrality, "I didn't want him to question my decisions on a personal level, if that makes sense. I've known him my entire life, and he would probably not be able to be … what's the word… objective."

James bobs his head a couple of times. "Understandable." He's already begun typing on his computer, entering in some of the information already listed in the documents. He ensures that he makes eye contact with her as she speaks so at least she knows he's paying attention, though he is rather proficient at multitasking. "Next question: Do you have any wills in existence at this time? This one will supercede that one, so it's best if we word that in the document itself."

Her eyes drop and she shakes her head. "No. I think the one says something about what happens to all the estate if I die, since I was still a teenager when it went into effect and hadn't made any sort of will and my parents probably didn't want to talk to me about what I'd want at that time," she says, her eyes on her hands in her lap. Not that she would have had logical plans for the money when she was too busy thinking about what to wear for that weekend's big event or what celebrity she might meet at the next party. "So you get to be my first," she says teasingly, an attempt to throw some levity into the situation — more for her sake than his, no doubt.

His grin is half hearted as he gives it to her and turns back to his document. He pauses, lifting his hand to scratch as the back of his head before turning to her. "So, we have this stuff from the estate. We can just include this as a whole package, unless there's more than one someone's that you want to leave your belongings to. If that's the case, we will probably need to start from scratch." Looking back at his computer, he pauses as if just now getting a good look at his new client and the name clicking. He starts to say something, then thinks better of it lest he come across like some fanboy, which he isn't. Though she's been in the headlines enough that he should have realized who she was before now.

He starts flipping through pages again. "Is there anything that's not in the estate that you want included? I'm seeing if you've brought a list.."

"There's a few things — I typed up a list…" Peyton reaches to the file and into a front pocket, pulling out a single sheet of paper. "Sorry, I set it apart since it wasn't an actual … property or whatever…" she sets the paper down on the desk. "There are multiple people, yes." On the paper are listed several names, with a simplified list of what they get:

Faye Crawford — All of Albert Winslow's estate, 30 percent of other monetary assets.

Vivian Whitney (grandmother), 10 percent of monetary assets.

Richard Cardinal, 30 percent of monetary assets.

Aaron Michaels, Upper East Side apartment, 20 percent of monetary assets.

Gillian Childs, 10 percent of monetary assets.

Oh. That helps quite a bit actually. Silver takes the paper and smiles. "This will tidy everything up very nicely. The only thing I'll need in addition to this information is where each of these persons can be located as of right now. It'll be in your best interest, and the best interest of those listed to keep there whereabouts updated." He is adding notes to what he's typing on the computer and slips the paper back into the sleeve where she pulled it from.

"Okay, I don't see any complication here. You've a good deal of property, but you've divided it specifically without a bunch of nonesense, so that'll help. I'll need a couple of days to have one of my clerks who specialize in this to look through it to see if there are any issues I may have missed." He reaches into his desk and pulls out a card and slides it across his desk. "Keep this card on you at all times. If something were to happen to you, then this will direct them to call me. As your lawyer, I also advise you to inform your potential beneficiaries of what you've done here. You don't have to, but it'll help aleviate confusion later on down the road if things are drawn out for them." He takes a deep breath and smiles to her. "Do you have any questions of me, Ms. Whitney?"

Locations and whereabouts — that can be trickier. Aaron's in the hospital. Richard — well, Liz's apartment would probably work well enough, or if they get around to renting or buying a building for their security business, that will work. Peyton's brows furrow at the rest of it — letting them know is not something she plans to do. But she nods anyway, to show she heard the advice, and her hand slides forward to take the card.

"No questions. I can email you the addresses once I double check them. I'm not sure why I didn't think of that before and have it ready for you," she says with a smile, opening her purse to put the card in her wallet. "Thank you for your time. I know you probably didn't want a hand-me-down client, but I appreciate you taking the time with me, Mr. Silver."

"It wasn't as painful as I thought it might be, so really the pleasure was all mine." Silver stands walks around the desk. "Let me walk you out. Once we finish reviewing what you've brought over and drafted up the documents, I'll call you back in for a review. When you check out with Julie up front, please ensure she has proper contact information for you." He starts for the exit of his office, turning his head to glance at her to make sure she's following, "If you need anything else at all, don't hesitate to call."

There is a genuine smile at his words and Peyton gives a low chuckle. "I'm sure my reputation precedes me sometimes, but I'm really not a spoiled diva these days," she says as she follows him out, then out the front doors and into the sunlight.

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