Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just When You Think It is Safe to Sigh in Relief. . .

My Mom's house. South Carolina
One of my stupid-ass siblings goes and does something else illegal.  And I am left to clean it up.

I am sure some of you wonder why I don't talk about the family that I was born into.  Y'know - my Dad, Mom, sister and brother?  It's easy enough to explain - my parents are dead and my sister and brother have cornered the markets on bad parenting, illegal dealings and drug addictions.  I do not say any of that lightly or with exaggeration - they just are not people I have ever wanted in my life or that of the family I was lucky enough to marry into and am raising.  Believe me, I have given them the chance - over and over again - but eventually their "lifestyle choices" prove to be too much [even for me] and *poof* they're gone.

The "fun" in the dysfunction this time concerns my sister.  Our mother died in September, 2010.  Not unexpectedly because she had been quite ill for a long time so the funerals [yes plural - she had to have two] went smoothly.  My sister was named executor of our mother's estate and it should've been settled and dispersed by May, 2011.  As my sister went over the paperwork she discovered some shady dealings on our brother's part, plus a large sum of money missing.  No worries - our mother had disinherited dear old Jeffrey - and the rest was left to Laura and me.  Included in the bequeaths were specific pieces of jewelry for me, my sister and all of our mother's granddaughters.

No problem, right?  Not in this family.  For reasons unbeknownst to me my sister stopped dealing with the estate.  Then she stopped speaking to us.  All of us.  In fact, I haven't spoken/talked by email with her since early last year.

I would never had known there was no one taking care of the final paperwork had I not called the probate office in South Carolina [FAIL S.C.] only to be told that the person taking care of the paperwork had been fired in January, 2010 and my sister had made no effort to move forward with settling the estate.  They gave me the run around for approximately 2 months until they finally removed my sister as executor and informed me that "we" now had to petition for a new one. [Who is this "we" you speak of?]

Three guesses who was left on the will who was of legal age [not a grandchild] and capable of assuming the responsibilities?

Ah. . .Tadpoles - you got it.  Me.  Now I don't know so much about the capable part [I kid] but I'm it.  It took me FOUR months mailing the same piece of paperwork back and forth to South Carolina [BIG FAIL S.C.] to finally be named the executor of the estate. I had to do it though, otherwise it would've been given over to the crook Jeffrey as he is older than  me.

Now the fun begins ::hack, hack, cough *hairball*:: I get to find out exactly how much my sister has stolen from the estate - including, but not limited to, our mother's savings, the furniture in the home and all of the jewelry that was given to me, Squirrel and Wallene in the will.

I already know I have to sue brother dear for the $70,000 he owes the estate [thank god for notarized promissary notes drawn up by lawyers] but now I have to track down and sue Laura too?  He can't be put in jail, but she most certainly can if she can't produce a record of where the monies are, the contents of the house and the pieces given to my family.

In the meantime we have to travel to South Carolina and change the locks on the house, go through the storage unit, the bank accounts and do an inventory of what [if any] is left.  Pooldad has a four day weekend coming up, so we will be road tripping here shortly.

Did I happen to mention I am on complete bedrest for the foreseeable future?

I don't know why I have to write this, but I will - I want to make this perfectly clear:  This is not about money.  This is all about years of abuse at the hands of these two losers and the fact that they mistreated my mother while she was alive and have dishonored her wishes in death.  If it wasn't for the sanity and enormous amounts of love and understanding my husband [his parents] and our kids provide me with I have no idea where I would be now. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I have them.

Wish me luck Tadpoles.  If nothing else - it promises to make for interesting blog fodder.


Juli said...

OH Darlin'. :(

My Mom was left as the executor for her parent's estate. They died within 5 months of each other. There were 9 kids, and needless to say the estate has become a big mess. It is worth millions, and now, finally after a year, all that's left is selling the house.

But I see all that it's taken out of my Mom. And she's in really good health. Please, PLEASE take care of yourself, and know that in the end YOUR health is the most important thing.


ellen abbott said...

Well, that just sucks. Try not to get to stressed out HA!

Tessa said...

Oh Skippy, my heart goes out to you. Dealing with the death of a parent is difficult enough nevermind dealing with family morons. I have made a vow that when the time comes for my parents to enter enternal rest I will be on a plane to Vegas so no one can find me. Why? Because I also have siblings that will do exactly what yours have done and I want no part of it. No matter how carefully things are preplanned and laid out you can bet that someone will come along and upset the apple cart. Please take care of yourself well you are dealing with this. It can and may take years. I am the executor for a great aunt's estate that has not yet been settled and she has been gone for almost 40 years. Due to a huge family and greedy people I cannot finish it without opposition from someone. I have vowed this will be the year as it has gone on long enough. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope your task is an easy one.

Anonymous said...

Dear Skippy,
I'm so sorry to hear about your family [or so called family]. I can understand what you're going through, my mother did something similar when grandma died :( She took what she could and then left the country.
I send you many warm hugs my friend, this is not very pleasant I know.
But I'm here for you along the way! Stay strong!


Celia said...

Ugh! I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Can't pick your family, right!

Anonymous said...

The hair on the back of my neck is standing up. I am scared to death of what is going to happen when both my parents are gone and I am left as executrix of their estate. I have an evil sister who is keeping track of everything in my life and already turning family members against me. I have decided when the time comes, to appoint an attorney to deal with the estate, even though it will cost an arm and a leg. My sister has already promised to make life hell for me, so I am just going to pass the buck....

Knitty said...

I am sorry to hear that you have to deal with this mess. It happens more often than we'd like to think and makes us wonder how siblings came from the same genetic pool.

Shame on all levels of government for making this so difficult for executors.

Jeannie said...

Oh Babe - what a mess.

I'm not sure what's going to happen when my mother dies. My father had made me executor but my mother switched it to my brother - her favourite - he doesn't even want it. Neither do I really but I'm the more logical choice since my other brother is too far away. My sister is not a contender. It's not such a big deal now - I just found out my mother's financial status and she is not as well off as I had assumed. I'm guessing ten years of living off savings while the value of investments have plummeted did a double whammy.

I have a feeling, since your sister quit talking to you, that it's not going to be a pleasant surprise when you get into it. At least the house is still there to sell and hopefully, your share will be at least somewhat covered by that.

Southhamsdarling said...

Dear Skippy, how awful all this must be for you, and of course we know it's not about the money with you. As you say, thank the Lord for Pooldad and his family and how you've raised your children. It really is a different world, isn't it?! I'm so sorry that you're being put through all this stress, which you can well do without. That is just so sad, if Wallene and Squirrel aren't going to get any jewellery which your mum had wanted them to have. To not respect someone's wishes in death, is the ultimate betrayal I would think. Take care my dear friend, and stay strong. Hugs to you from across the pond x

colenic said...

This just plain sucks (sorry but I can't think of a better word). I know that you don't need any of this stress. I am glad that Pooldad and his family have adopted you and cherish you the way you should be...
I wish you luck, patience and love throughout this process...hugs to you

Teresa said...

This sounds a lot like what's currently going on in my family. I feel for you.

hang in there and take it easy on yourself. so glad you have pooldad and the girls to help you get through this.

Biz said...

So sorry you have to go through all that bull shit - hopefully you'll be able to do a lot of stuff through the phone and internet.

I did estate planning with an attorney for years - even though there is a will sometimes people try not to follow it.


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this. Unfortunately, when there's an estate of any kind, it can really bring out the worst kinds of behavior in some people.

life in the mom lane said...

this is hard enough dealing with family issues when you are well, but when you are ill???? I'm sorry to hear about all of this and the hassles you have had and most likely will continue to have until this is done. Thank God you have Pooldad and your kids...Hang in there!

Yum Yucky said...

Ugh. I deal with some of this type of stuff at work and I know how crazy and confusing it can get when stuff goes SMOOTHLY, so considering how un-smooth the situation is for you, I have a seriously big sad face over here knowing you have to deal with it. :(