The next day, Joanne Hailman, gathered herself together because she knew that she had to put together a funeral and she almost forgot: her husband’s will. She must call their lawyer, Richard Silver; he could help her arrange all those details. She went into the library and shut the door so she could make the call in private. She called him and asked him to come over to the house right away. He acknowledged her request and was on his way because the Hailman family was his biggest client and whatever they wanted, he provided.
Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rang and the butler, Malcolm, an older gentleman who had been with Dave Hailman since before Dave’s marriage to Joanne, answered it to find Richard standing impatiently outside. He was not old, and not young, but wasn’t what you would call a middle-aged man, he was definitely a snob, a very unattractive man, quite stern, but Joanne and her now deceased husband had put up with him because he was such a sought-after attorney. “Sir, Mrs. Hailman is in the library, let me show you.” “Please, you don’t have to. You forget, I know the way.” He replied pompously.
He rushed through the door and threw his briefcase down and went right over to the desk where she was sitting, “Joanne, dear, I am so sorry. I wish that I could do something for you and take away this horrible pain. What business did you call me over to help you with?” “Richard, I appreciate your “sympathy’, but what I need you to do is arrange for the will to be read as soon as possible. When can you make this happen?” “I can do whatever and whenever for you. Just name the date. The will, as you know, has been quite in order for many years.” Joanne replied, “Good, let’s have it read tomorrow after the funeral. All of the family will be present and it will just be the best time.” “Consider it done.” Richard smiled.
The next day the funeral went off very smoothly and turned out to be a very nice service. The family felt relieved when it was finished, but still felt one piece of Dave Hailman’s death was still left unaccountable for and Charles Christopher was the one to find that piece. Christopher had attended the funeral in hopes that he could spot anyone acting the least unusual, but that wasn’t the case. Everyone there all seemed quite normal. It was as if they all were acting or had something to hide. After the service was over, he went to Joanne to ask how she was doing. “Detective, I am doing much better and I appreciate the interest. Oh, I almost forgot, the will is being read in just a couple of hours here at the house, I thought I was supposed to tell you any kind of news that had happened since the death of my husband.” “Yes, you were supposed to tell me, I will remain here then throughout the day until the reading takes place. I hope that something will be revealed to help out the investigation.” “Yes, so do I.” Joanne said hopefully.
That afternoon, everyone gathered into the library to wait for Richard to deliver the news, either good or bad. “Well, I guess everyone is present, so I will go ahead and proceed with the reading. Please hold all your comments or questions until I am completely through with the reading:
I, Dave Hailman, leave to my wife, the house, 51% of the family business, sculptures and paintings she and I purchased together, and 10 million dollars. To my son, Dave, Jr., I leave 15% of the family business and 2 million dollars. To my daughter, Vivien, I leave 14% of the family business and 2 million dollars. To my son, Adam, I leave 10% of the family business and 2 million dollars. To my daughter, Tabytha, I leave 10% of the family business and 2 million dollars. Adam and Tabytha will only have control of their company percentages when they reach the age of 25, until then, their mother will have power of attorney over their shares. Their money will be placed in a trust until they reach the age of 25.
That is the bulk of what you all need to know, everything else is just the legal stuff. Does anybody have any questions?” Richard finished curtly. No response came from anyone about the will.
Richard was relieved because he had dealt with some pretty ugly family situations before. “Well, since no one has anything, I will be on my way. Joanne.” He tipped his hand to her and left. Christopher was looking around at all their faces the whole time, but no one made a grimace or even mumbled a slight sound. This could just not be, someone was hiding something. He also went on his way so he could do some thinking. What Christopher didn’t know was that while he was leaving, one of the children wished that they had been an only child so that they could run the company once their mother passed on and not have to share. No facial expression would ever reveal this thought to anyone.