Though he was not involved in rescue efforts after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, Scott Small of Mellon Financial Corp.'s Philadelphia office recently became a hero to the families of some victims.
About 500 people lost in the 2001 tragedy were not U.S. citizens. Mellon was the court-appointed administrator for the estates of 11 foreign nationals who were killed while working at Windows On The World, the restaurant on the 107th floor of the North Tower. Families of victims had until Dec. 21, 2003, to file the extremely complex paperwork necessary to obtain up to $1 million in compensation.
As Mellon's national manager for estate settlement, Mr. Small began to work with the 11 families in April 2002. Because victims' family members are not U.S. citizens and live abroad, they cannot legally handle the normal business of estate work such as income tax refunds, more or less seek gifts from the American Red Cross disaster funds or the Victims' Compensation Fund awards. Most of these families now are likely to receive compensation awards from the U.S. as a result of Mr. Small's efforts.
Neither Mellon nor Mr. Small accepted a fee for their estate services.