Saturday, December 5, 2015

In which Ted and Ted'sWife are so grabby that they almost make Jack cry and he leaves because he cannot stand how they are acting

You guys! I can't believe I didn't write about this part. (I am writing this in December, realizing I left out so much when I wrote the other posts in August.)

1. Ted and TW came over to Sly and Doris' house after lunch. They called Stephanie and Jack's son and told him he could take care of his cousin, Ted and TW's son, while Ted and TW did stuff at Sly and Doris'.

They do that. They dump their kid on other people without asking. They call Stephanie and tell her how much their son wants to be with his cousins, which is true, but their solution is not for the cousins to join them but for their son to stay with Stephanie and her kids. Ted'sSon cannot be unsupervised. It is not fair to ask a recent college graduate to assume that responsibility. But they do it.

2. TW suggests that we throw things away, which is great. But then she starts dibbsing things she wants to take home, like an old dresser in Doris' room. Ted starts dibbsing things he wants to take home. They want things like dressers and bookshelves.

I stay in the kitchen with Jack, throwing away all of the spices and half the food and putting the rest in bags for Stephanie. Jack and I want nothing to do with the dibbsing, except I do say a few times, "Maria and [my nephew] have just finished college and will be setting up apartments. Maybe they should have these things."

But Ted and TW's are all excited about old, not very nice furniture.

"Let's have this bookcase shipped home," he suggests to his wife.

I can't keep my mouth shut. "That's going to cost a lot of money!"

He shrugs. "The estate will pay for it."

Now I really can't keep my mouth shut. "I don't think estates usually pay for that kind of thing," I say.

"Oh sure it will!" he answers. "TW's mother's estate is paying to ship things to us."

TW's mother is not dead. What is really happening is that TW's mother is paying.

3. We are in Sly and Doris's bedroom. TW picks up a purse, opens it, pulls out the wallet, starts rifling through the wallet, pulling out photos, etc.

"Whose wallet is this?" she asks in curiosity.

Then she sees the driver's license. "Oh! Doris!"

Primo's voice is ice cold as he puts out his hand. "That's my mother's purse. Give. It. To. Me. Please."

4. We spend hours cleaning and throwing away. I have not bathed. Primo has not bathed. We are all going out to dinner. I wait for Ted and TW's to leave so Primo and I can bathe and dress and go to the restaurant.

"But they're staying here until it's time to go to the restaurant," he says.

"What!" I hiss. "They need to LEAVE! There is no way for me to get from the bathroom to the guest room unseen. I don't want to have to take all my clothes into the bathroom!"

TW's opens a bottle of wine and sits down.

I guess they are not leaving.

In which my beautiful, sweet, smart niece is reluctant to be all grabby with Sly and Doris' stuff because she is a classy girl, even though Ted and his wife had no qualms at all about being grabby

Me: Niece! Take Doris' handwritten recipes.

Sweet, lovely, just graduated from college Niece: OK.

Me: And the cookie cutters.

Niece: OK.

Me: What about this stand mixer?

Niece: I don't know....

Me: You might want it someday.

Niece: It feels kind of weird taking her stuff.

Me: I know. You're still mourning her death and it seems tacky to be taking her things. But she would be very happy for you to have the things she enjoyed so much.

Niece: I guess.

Me: It's you or it's Goodwill.

Niece: I guess.

Me: Do you  need an iron?

Niece: Sure.

Me: Wait. You actually have clothes that need to be ironed?

Niece: Yes.

In which Primo points out to me the item that I wish we had gotten instead of the cast-iron cat

You know you want a glass octopus that glows when turned on as well. You know you do.

In which Ted, Ted'sWife, and Jack come over to Sly and Doris' house to take what they want

Only it's not that efficient. They decide to help clean, which is great, in theory, except it stresses Primo out completely not to be in control of what's going on.

I am happy because stuff is getting done and Ted'sWife and I agree that all the plastic plants and flowers should go straight into the trash.

I am also happy because we are throwing away papers and magazines en masse. If Primo were doing it, he would want to read every single piece of paper to make sure it's not important.

Old coupons are not important.

Old membership cars to the Sierra Club are not important.

Old address labels are not important.

Old magazines are not important.

Here are some items encountered during the frenzy:

1. Bundles of receipts for charitable donations for tax deductions, secured with rubber bands, tossed in a drawer
2. Five handsfuls of blank greeting cards. Primo asked if I might want them and I just looked at him and raised my eyebrows.
3. Five bottles of dried parsley. Three unopened containers of bread crumbs. Six unopened boxes of graham crackers. Three jars of cloves. Three bottles of vanilla.
4. Phone books from years ago. Phone books, period. Who uses a phone book any more?
5. Carry-out cups and lids from coffee places, washed and stashed at the top of the cupboard.
6. A book called "What's Your Poo Telling You?" Ted suggested to Primo that we might like to have it at our house and I gave Ted the Glare of Death.
7.  Four rolls of tin foil. One roll of plastic wrap. "Is it Saran Wrap?" Primo asked. "We need some." Nope. It was cheap Wal-Mart store brand. (Remember Sly and Doris hated Wal-Mart for its labor practices but still shopped there.)
8. Shells. Lots of shells. Shells wrapped in a cut-up paper bag.
9. Two huge files with Nancy's medical records and copies of letters that Sly and Doris had written that included references to "so-called 'professionals'" and "so-called 'treatment' and warehousing." I read only a little bit. It was heartbreaking. I am no fan of Sly and Doris, but I cannot imagine the anguish of a parent trying to get treatment for a sick child.
10. About a dozen of those cheap vases that come when you have flowers delivered. They were on top of a cabinet and covered with sticky dust - you know - the kind of dust you get when something is by the kitchen and there is frying and fat floats in the air and sticks on things and then the dust sticks to the fat? That kind of sticky dust.
11. A letter I had written to Doris, years ago, crammed underneath the receipts and address labels.

n. And Ted found a dildo in the drawer next to Sly's side of the bed.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

In which Ted claims that he has spent 100 hours writing Sly's eulogy

Primo: Ted wasn't too bad today. He didn't talk about the estate.

Me: Good.

Primo: We just talked about the service and dinner.

Me: And?

Primo: He said he has written a thousand-word eulogy.

Me: Oh man.

Primo: And has prepared a two-sided page of poetry to read.

Me: Oh man.

Primo: He said he has spent one hundred hours writing it.

Me: So eight hours a day since your dad died?

Primo: Pretty much.

Me: I don't believe that.

Primo: Ted is full of crap.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In which there was FORESHADOWING

You guys, I wrote this post almost six years ago. It's about the will.

In which Ted throws out yet another gratuitous insult just because - because I don't know why - because he is a jerk

To: Primo, Jack
From: Ted
Subject: Savings bonds

Jack (and Primo), per our convo, the following chart details the savings bonds from Dad and Doris to (my son). They’re in our bank’s safe deposit box. Hope this helps with your research; for about 9 years they sent a bond around his birthday. The maturity/math/etc. should be self-explanatory. They cease to accrue interest after full maturity (30 years).


To: Ted, Jack
From: Primo
Subject: Savings bonds


What research?

If (your son) and/or his cousins received savings bonds from Mom and Dad, I don't see why they are part of any current discussion. Assuming that the kids' names are on the bonds, they own the bonds and can cash them in at any point in the future (before or after maturity). These bonds were past gifts to the grandchildren and are completely outside the estate and the trust.


To: Primo, Jack
From: Ted
Subject: Savings bonds

The research I was helping Jack with. Everything is “past.” Why do you start a sentence with “If” when you know the answer? I recall Dad and Doris calling this a “Primo question” back in the late Sixties.

And starting another sentence with “Assuming”? That makes an ass out of you, as they say.

We need to talk soonest

In which Ted insists that Primo, who is on vacation, participate in a conference call with him and Jack about the estate and refers to the "estates" of his mother and of his wife's mother, even though neither mother is dead so the situation is completely different

From Ted's email to Primo. While we are on vacation. A vacation that Primo really deserves after the past several months.

I could not make this stuff up. This was in the email from Ted:

 I couldn’t disagree more about your wish to postpone discussing estate-related matters prior to this weekend. Furthermore, emails are lectures, not discussions. What we need is a discussion. This is what Jack and I frequently do with our other half-brother about my mother’s estate and what [my wife] does with her sister about their mother’s. It’s perfectly normal. This email chain has become didactic and unidirectional. I know you’ve not enjoyed the deep pleasure of having big brothers until your 50th birthday; but better late than never!

In which Jack asks if Stephanie should be included in the post-funeral family dinner, which I think is a class act thing to do

This impressed me. I had asked Primo if Stephanie would be invited to the dinner after the funeral and he had said no, Jack did not consider her part of the family. (Jack had said that.) I pointed out that Stephanie, despite Sly and Doris' rudeness to and about her, had continued to help them and visit them in the hospital and take their grandchildren to see them.

This morning, Jack emailed Primo and Ted and asked if they thought it would be OK to invite Stephanie to the dinner. Both Primo and I think it's a great idea, but Primo is worried that Ted won't want to have her there.

"Then we can send him the email that he sent to Stephanie about how much he loooooooved her and her kids and how much Sly and Doris adooooored her," I said.

In which Ted delegates another task to Primo and I wonder why Ted is not beat up on a regular basis

It is our last day of vacation. We have just returned from playing tennis.

There is an email from Ted.

Primo still has not responded to the demand for a conference call, but Ted won't stop emailing.

In this email, he sent Primo a spreadsheet of all the savings bonds Sly and Doris had given to Ted's son over the years.


Don't know why.

Neither Primo nor I can figure out why this information would be relevant.

Ted said, "This spreadsheet might help you in your research."

If anyone has any ideas about why savings bonds given as gifts over the years should have any relevance to Primo's responsibilities as trustee and executor of Sly and Doris' estate, please tell me. Because I sure can't figure it out.

Monday, November 30, 2015

In which Sam advises Primo to tell Ted to go to heck

Primo is so angry at Ted's email demanding information about the trust and the will that he is talking to his best friend, Sam, who is a lawyer. Sam is telling Primo that he should tell Ted that Primo cannot give legal advice and if he wants to talk to someone about the will and the trust, he should get a lawyer.

Last night, we figured out the discouraging news that the IRA is taxable. So nobody is quitting a job for sure with our new-found wealth.

And now Sam is advising Primo to resign as trustee immediately.

Primo's dad made him a joint owner of a savings account before he died.
The trust mentions that account
Does Primo get to keep the money?
Or does it go to the trust?
That account is specifically mentioned as a joint asset of Sly  and Doris that is to be considered as part of the trust
and Ted, as usual, is being an asshole
he is demanding a conference call this week
about how the trust works
and how the expenses work
and how the contents of the house will be disposed of
he told Primo to write a will
he wants to talk about a letter Sly wrote in 2005

I am looking at the trust agreement. There may be a conflict between the trust agreement, and how the account passes by operation of Florida law, which might establish that Primo would take ownership as a joint owner. This is something the lawyer should probably tell you. Because Ted is not a beneficiary under the Will, he really has no right to have Primo tell him anything.

Primo should not give him advice on how the trust or will works. Nor would any estate lawyer advise him on that, because his duties are solely to the estate. So Ted needs to get his own lawyer if he wants to ask questions and get answers. If Primo wants to talk about this, have him give me a call. I'm at home, & I hate long Facebook messages.

OK - just showed this to Primo. Thank you so much.
We just now got the email from Ted and are both fuming.
The man has filmed brain surgery. Surely he can interpret a legal document.

It may also depend on exactly how the bank account is titled. If it is joint tenancy with right of survivorship, he may actually have precedence over the trust. However I would generally expect the trust to prevail. The estate lawyer can tell you this pretty easily because I'm sure it has happened before.

If I were Primo, I would write back saying quote I am NOT a lawyer, & I am not in a position to give you legal advice about how the Trust works, or any interpretation.

All the more reason for Primo not to serve as trustee for the grandchildren. If Ted wants to screw up the grandchildren by pressing the trustee, that should be on him and not on Primo. Or on a successor trustee

In which Reagan is shot and Ted says he is in charge

Ted is making us crazy. We are still on vacation but he has sent Primo and Jack an email with the agenda for a phone call this week.

1. We are still on vacation.
2. Even if we weren't, Primo would not want to talk to Ted.
3. The issues Ted wants to cover are irrelevant to Ted -
a. What's in the trust
b. What Sly wrote in 2005
c. What kind of expenses Primo can charge to the trust

I suggested to Primo that he tell Ted that if he wants to understand the will and the trust that he should consult a lawyer.

Ted also wants to talk about the disposition of the contents of the house. If he wants to be in charge of cleaning out the house and getting it ready for sale, he is welcome to it.

We. Are. On. Vacation.

Ted. Is. Not. In. Charge.