Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

In which Primo, against spousal advice, sends an email to Ted with a detailed accounting of what he has done and of the money in the estate

Ted has no legal right to this information because he is not named in the will.

He has no moral right to it because he has been a complete jerk to Primo.

Primo answers Ted's snark with calm and logic, both of which are wasted on Ted.

He sends Ted a spreadsheet with a detailed accounting of all the investment funds.

He explains that he will not set up the trusts for the grandkids until after the beginning of the year - the accountant's advice is to delay so Primo does not have to file multiple tax returns this year.

He hits "Send" and then we wait.

"He is going to criticize how the money is invested," he says.

"He is going to be angry that I am waiting to set up the trust," he says.

"He does not like that I am paying the realtor six percent," he says.

What do I say?

What do you think?

What would you say?


That is what I say.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In which I convince Primo to ask the lawyer a question about something he is not ready to act on, something that makes Primo nuts because he does not start doing research until he is ready to move. I do research and then decide if I am going to do something with the information. We are total opposites on this.

Primo: I am whiny.

Me: I know.

Primo: I despond.

Me: Ted is a jerk.

Primo: Why does he have to be such an asshole?

Me: I don't know.

Primo: I dread dealing with him.

Me: Would you do something for me?

[Actually, it was more of, "Yes let's get busy but before we do, there are conditions and one of them is that you need to cut off all contact with Ted because he is poison."]

Primo: Maybe.

Me: Would you send an email to the lawyer and ask him two questions?

Primo: What questions?

Me: Ask him if you can hire him to deal with Ted and have the fees charged only to Ted'sSon's share of the estate and ask him if once you have the kids' trusts set up if you can resign only from Ted'sSon's trust but still remain as trustee for Michael, Maria, and Pia.

Primo: Maybe.

Me: You don't have to act on the information. But wouldn't it be useful to know what is possible?

Primo: Yes, it would.

Me: Good.

In which Ted implies again, after Primo put all of Doris' jewelry in a box and mailed it to him, that Primo is hiding the Good Bracelet and somehow cheating everyone

I present this email from Ted to Primo without comment. Almost every week, I find myself surprised that I am surprised at how much of a jerk he can be.

Primo is honest and ethical. He works hard. He has been busting his butt to take care of this estate and to do so in a financially responsible manner. He loves his nieces and nephews and wants them to get as much from the trust as possible. He will drive an extra hour to Orlando airport to save money on the airfare the trust is paying for. He has been eating the awful processed food in Sly and Doris' freezer instead of buying decent food, again so he can save the trust money.

For Ted to imply that Primo is acting in poor faith makes me want to fly to DC and punch Ted in the nose. I bet there would be a line.

Subject: Re: Dad's 82nd birthday
CC:; ted'

Thanks, I guess, for the package you sent to our house—although I can’t for the life of me (and neither can Ted'sWife) understand why on earth you sent us all that stuff. We made it clear when last at Dad's that we were very happy with a few keepsakes. But in the interest of fond reminiscences, we’ll keep or properly re-designate some of those items. For example, we’ll send the costume jewelry to Maria and Pia  in a few weeks; neither Ted'sWife, Ted'sSon, or I would wear any of that. The clock would have cost hundreds of dollars to repair to “minimum working condition,” so we sold it for parts for $15. I owe each of you a tuna sandwich next time we’re together. Several of the glass items arrived in splinters and have been tossed or recycled.

As far as the now infamous bracelet Dad promised to Ted'sWife, I’ll leave that to Ted'sWife, who’s on business travel the next two weeks.

On the home sales front, beware of realtors eager to charge an (outrageous) “staging fee” to install furniture, etc. for a few weeks to help sell it. The spouse of the realtor that Ted'sWife's stepdad's children chose—over Ted'sWife's wishes—wants to hire his spouse to do that, for only $5,000. Gotta love Southern incest and chutzpah.

Primo, Ted'sWife is going to contact you directly about financial implications relating to Ted'sSon's outstanding student loans and continuing educational costs. Special education sure is special—especially how much it costs.

As Ted'sSon's guardians, and legally in the context of Dad’s (as Doris' survivor) trust, we are interested in an accounting of the trusts’s assets and the disposition and plans for those assets. Unless my legal and financial advisors are mistaken, we (and Jack) are entitled to that information and you are required to disclose it. 

Lack of disclosure strikes me as bad practice for any family, irrespective of legal or ethical obligations.

Maybe we can discuss this sometime now that the vast majority of your good work on the estate since Dad’s passing almost 10 weeks ago is done.

Eldest Bro
cc: Ted'sWife

On Oct 13, 2015, at 1:04 PM,  Ted Drunk wrote:

Thanks for the update Primo. Man, that’s a heckuva deal on the Subaru! Ted'sWife sold her mom’s 2011 Ford Fusion SE with 31,000 miles to our next-door neighbors for $11,500 (KBB had it at $10,386 for a private sale; had it at $9,475). We’re very fond of our neighbors and would have listed it for $12,000, so they got a bit of a break.

I hope you got the real estate agent down to a 5% commission. Six-percenters get laughed out of the room these days. Ted'sWife and her sister were strong-armed by their stepdad's kids (because one of them lives locally) into choosing the realtors they preferred. At least they listened to my insistence that 5% is the max rate. But they did not listen very closely to Ted'sWife's other wishes, and the house is still on the market—for $339,000 but it’s only been 3 weeks.

Dad’s birth date has been auspicious around here for awhile. Last year I had the pleasure of a weekend with 14 college freshman-year classmates on the Cape and some family time on the Vineyard. 

And yes we thought a lot about Dad and, of course, Doris on the Fourth. We were at a wedding Fri— pictures of which you can check out on Face the Book.

Note that my iMac, my main desktop machine (24-inch, early 2009, 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) definitely runs slower than before—despite my upping the RAM to 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3) now that it’s running the latest OS (OS X El Capitan, Version 10.11). So Bob you may NOT want to upgrade from Yosemite . . . just sayin'


On Oct 12, 2015, at 11:50 PM, Primo wrote:

Ted, Jack,

In honor of Dad's birthday, I had an extremely productive day:
  • I sold the Subaru (to the next-door neighbor) for $2900. Considering the damage to the right rear door and bumper and the lack of recent maintenance, this was a good deal but not a fire sale. It was a bonus that the deal closed just hours before the registration expires. (In Florida, I think it always expires on the owner's birthday.) The attached photo was taken just before the Subaru left the driveway at for the last time.
  • I signed a contract with a real estate agent to list the house for $299,000. The agent is a good friend of Stephanie's friend. I met with two other agents and am comfortable with Agent, not only because of the family connection but because of his life story and his style of work. He will be taking personal responsibility for the majority of minor repairs and sprucing up. The house is now about 90% empty (vs. 80% last week). I have learned that the 80/20 rule applies to clearing out a house.
  • I shipped another package to you and upgraded the memory in the iMac (which will be ready for you at the end of the month, Jack).

The house should be on the market within 7-10 days. Agent's goal is to have it listed even sooner, but I think that's a stretch.

I wish I had taken a photo before leaving the house (showing the emptiness of the great room), but I was in a rush. Stephanie gave me a ride to Daytona Beach because I had no car after selling the Subaru. I will return once more from October 27-31 to complete the process of emptying the house. That will be the last time I stay in the guest room.

I thought about Dad a lot today, and I'm sure that you two did as well.

Your little brother,

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In which Primo and I WIN over Ted and Ted'sWife

Primo and I went to Costco today. I saw the cans of crab like the one we brought home from Sly and Doris'. Twenty three dollars. For a can of crabmeat.

Ted and Ted'sWife think Primo is holding back, keeping the Good Bracelet for himself, but I bet they didn't see the crabmeat or else they would be furious that we got it.

(I also took the honey roasted peanuts and the craisins.)

Monday, February 22, 2016

In which Primo realizes he is going to be stuck doing laundry this weekend, which was always part of the deal of his taking a year off, but everything has gone to heck because of Sly and Doris

Primo: You made the bed! That's my job.

Me: I know. But you are  busy and I am taking the day off, so whatever.

Primo: Oh no!

Me: What?

Primo: The sheets!

Me: What?

Primo: The sheets have to be changed this Saturday.

Me: Yes.

Primo: I was gone the last time they had to be washed and changed.

Me: I know. That's why I did it. Even though that's your job.

Primo: I should have timed this next trip to Florida to get out of changing the sheets. I am not doing it right.

Me: Nope.


Me: Hey! You're going downstairs! You're not even taking the things that need to go down!*

Primo: I'm busy!

Me: Would you bring up the laundry? [That he did on Friday]

Primo: I'm. Busy! Besides, for me the laundry is done when it is hanging neatly on the racks.

* Empty plastic bags for kitty litter.