Saturday, February 13, 2016

In which Primo is stuck in Florida again

I think you guys have figured out that Primo is gone again. Poor guy. How many trips is this? His dad died in July. We went on vacation - hey - Primo deserved a break - and then we both went to Florida for the funeral in early August. I came home, Primo stayed another week.

He came home for a week, left again. Then home for two weeks. Back to FL early Sept for a week. Home for two weeks, then gone again. He gets home this week after being gone for nine days and will go back to FL end of October for another week.

This after spending almost all of his time in Florida since mid April.

The times he has been home have not been relaxing. He has still had to deal with Ted. You guys know that's no picnic. He has also had a backlog of home chores to do. Not the everyday stuff we had planned that he would do with his year off - I am doing those things because I want his time at home to be as restful as possible, but other things that he is in charge of and does not want to yield (because he is an engineer and a total control freak), like getting the car inspected and cutting the grass and changing the air filter, etc.

He is at the house in Florida, trying to get rid of stuff so he can put it up for sale. He called me this morning to tell me that Stephanie and the girls had come over to help him with some stuff.

"We went through the cupboards and the fridge and got rid of everything. They took a lot of food home and I threw away the rest. Then I had them go through my mom's jewelry and take whatever they want," he said. "I am going to mail what's left to Ted'sWife."

"She will complain that you are hiding the Good Bracelet from her," I said.

"I don't care. I am tired of dealing with her. And with Ted. You know how facebook does that timehop thing? Two years ago this weekend was when Ted and I came to Florida for my dad's 80th birthday. I am seeing all the things that Ted posted. He is such a jerk."

Timehop tells me about texts from the same date in previous years. It has reminded me of past text messages with Ted both yesterday and today. He has always been insufferable.
Yes. He should be nice to you, not because you have power over him, but because it is the right thing to do!
2 hours ago

"Like what?"

"Oh, stuff about how I needed to relax - it was time for the professionals to take over."

"To take over - celebrating your father's birthday?"

He sighed. "I know. It's just what he does. He always has to be the big shot. I want to ask him, 'If you are so connected and know so many important people in Washington, why don't you have a job?' Maybe someone could hire him to be a professional asshole."

"He's qualified, for sure," I said.

"I talked to the accountant on Friday. He said not to even set the trusts up until after the new year. Otherwise, I will have to do tax returns on them for 2015."

"That's good advice."

"Ted is going to hate it."

"Ted is going to blow a gasket. He already thinks you are taking too long to give him all the money."

"Whatever. I don't care any more. The trust is not about him, anyhow. It's supposed to be for Ted'sSon."

Then we decided he would not bring Doris' silver home - that we would just keep his grandparents' silver plate - which we have never used once in seven years of marriage because I am not going to polish silver - and that the cat would stay with the neighbor.

Good decisions.

And then we had to hang up because the guy who said he wanted to buy the car - Primo was giving him 25% under blue book just to sell the darn thing before Monday, when the registration expired - finally showed up. Primo was really annoyed because the guy was late. I had to remind Primo that he thinks it's OK for him to be late.

And then I took Doris' t-shirt - the one Primo brought for me because he thought I might like to wear his dead mother's t-shirt - out of the dresser in our bedroom and hid it in the dresser upstairs in the guest room. My hope is that Primo will forget he ever gave it to me.

Friday, February 12, 2016

In which I am a dog in a manger

This is how tacky and mean I can be. And vengeful. I don't want Doris' silver - I don't Do Silver unless I can sell it. I don't polish. I am done with all that. Too much work. Instead, I cook really good food when our friends come over.

But - I don't want Ted'sWife to have it, either. Miss "Oh isn't it soooo great that Primo is taking this year off so he can take care of his father* and that you guys aren't financially strapped so his not making any money isn't an issue for you."

I wanted to slap her.

Yeah, I am a little bit cranky about that still.

7 hours ago

Do you care at all about the sterling silver flatware?

If you don't care at all, I don't really care. I could send it to Ted'sWife in lieu of the piece of jewelry that she and Ted think she should be getting.
2 minutes ago
No.I don't care about silver. However, I would rather sell it and you and I go out to a nice dinner than Ted and Ted'sWife have it, given how they have acted.

* Not that I think Ted should have felt any responsibility to Sly after the way Sly abandoned him and Jack when they were little.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

In which the accountant gives advice to Primo that will make Ted absolutely furious and I think, "Oh well"

 hours ago

I had a good meeting with the accountant. He had a lot of useful advice (e.g., I should not create the individual trust accounts for the kids until after January 1, because if they exist before the end of the year tax returns will be required).
Ah - excellent!

He did not think it was nice of my parents to prohibit the trustee (related by blood or marriage) from receiving compensation. He said that I should have The Lawyer check on that provision again (to see if it is overridden by Florida law).

The meeting did not cost anything. (The guy was trying to earn my business for what will be multiple Florida trusts.)
I don't think it was nice, either.
Do you like the guy? Do you trust him?

I think so. My parents have been using this firm, and so has Jack. They also did the taxes for the restaurant business (which I don't have to worry about because it ended several years ago).

He said that I can throw out all of the documents from 2011 and prior years.

(Well, he advised me to shred them.)
before you leave FL!

But I don't have time to run everything through this little shredder. I don't know where to take stuff for shredding. At this point I will put stuff into a box or basket.

I've probably already put out some things for recycling that should have been shredded.
please don't bring it home

I wouldn't do that.

But the 2012-2014 documents will have to go home with me eventually.

Then we can get rid of one year's worth of documents each year.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

In which Primo and I become the Hardy Boys. Or maybe Nancy Drew. I always wanted titian hair

Here is the deal with Sly's life insurance.

A couple of weeks ago, Ted sent an email to Primo asking Primo to call him to give him information about Sly's life insurance, as he had received a letter from the insurance company.

1. If all you want is information that goes onto a form, ask for it in writing.
2. Why on earth would an insurance company send the claim information to someone who is not the beneficiary or otherwise mentioned anywhere in insurance company documentation?

We know that #2 is the case because Primo looked.

Primo: I found old papers about the life insurance. It used to be my mom who was the beneficiary, before they set up the trust. In the mid-80s, it was my mom and "the children of my marriage to Doris Drunk."

Me: What? Your dad cut Ted and Jack out of his life insurance?

Primo: Well, he did give them a lot of money over the years.

Me: Not in the mid 80s! He wouldn't even pay for their college.

Primo: Maybe he thought they would get their stepfather's insurance.

Me: Maybe. As long as their stepfather also didn't leave everything directly TO HIS CHILDREN.

So the insurance company sent all the information about filing a claim to Ted and Ted wanted information from Primo so he could complete the forms (which ask for things like copies of the will and the trust, which Ted does not have, and information about the trustee, which Ted does not have, and copies of a power of attorney if someone besides the trustee is doing this stuff, which Ted does not have because TED IS NOT THE TRUSTEE AND PRIMO IS AND PRIMO HAS NOT GIVEN POA TO TED).

And Primo said something to Ted about how it was not appropriate for Ted to call the insurance company and Ted got all indignant and said HE DIDN'T CALL HOW DARE PRIMO ACCUSE HIM which is when Primo apologized and Ted sent the email saying Primo couldn't even offend him because Primo was punching way above his weight and was so nasty and vile that Primo finally said "Ya basta" and sent everything to The Lawyer, saying, "I don't want to deal with this jerk any more."

And then Primo and I took a walk and were trying to figure out why the insurance company would have sent something to Ted if he didn't call them.

"Maybe the Social Security Administration notified the insurance company that my dad had died?" Primo asked.

"They can't even stop paying dead people on their own rolls," I said. "They are not notifying life insurance companies about deaths."

We pondered and pondered and none of it made sense. Ted is not the trustee. He is not the beneficiary. He is not the executor. Why would the insurance company have mailed him any documentation?

And, when they did, why did Ted not just forward it to Primo?

We finally decided that there is a strong possibility that Ted is lying.

Primo and I are both curious enough that he is going to call the insurance company and figure this out.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

In which I try to convince Primo that the kids would be better off if he were not the trustee

I am trying to convince Primo that it is OK for him to resign from the trust and let the trust lawyer handle it. Primo has a highly-developed sense of responsibility (my understanding is that this is common with children of alcoholics?) and never thinks anyone else can do the job as well as he can. (That just comes from his being a control freak engineer.)(We argue about how to put silverware away. Nothing is safe.)

Primo: He won't do it right.

Me: If you don't resign, you have another 11 years of dealing with Ted about this. And you already know that there is nothing you can do short of draining that trust and making the check out to him that will make him happy.

Primo: But what about the other kids? Jack has been really reasonable. He wants to pay off their student loans and set up IRAs for them.

Me: I think that's a great idea. Can you resign from just Ted'sSon's trust?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: Plus with Ted'sSon, you have the additional complication that he is disabled and gets social security disability  and the rules are different. No matter what you do, you are going to have to consult with a lawyer. So the trust is going to pay legal fees no matter what.

Primo: I guess.

Me: Isn't your main responsibility to make sure that the funds are disbursed appropriately and that the expenses charged to the trust are reasonable?

Primo: Yes.

Me: If The Lawyer had been in charge, would he have given Ted the money to reimburse him for attending his own father's funeral?

Primo: Nope.

Me: Do you think The Lawyer might have a more dispassionate attitude toward things? That if Ted gets nasty, The Lawyer can just hang up or say, "Ted, you realize you are paying me $500 an hour to listen to you scream, don't you?" But with you, there is an emotional connection that makes it harder.

Primo: Why does he have to be such a jerk?

Me: I don't know.

Primo: He has always been like this.

Me: I'm sorry, sweetie.

Primo: He would not have reimbursed Ted those travel expenses.

Me: So he would have made sure that the trust funds were not used for inappropriate expenses?

Primo: For sure

Me: So actually, it is the responsible thing for you to do to resign. That would be acting in the kids' best interests.

Primo: Maybe.

In which Primo wonders about how to dispose of a carton of porn

Primo: The box of dirty books is still there.

Me: Oh.

Primo: I can't think of any place to donate porn.

Me: Me, neither.

Primo: But most of them are paperbacks. I guess I can put them in the recycling.

Me: That sounds good.

Primo: One of the recurring themes in the sex diary is about those books. They would get started by sitting around drinking brandy and reading dirty books. Some of the dirty books had photos of gay sex.

Me: They bought gay porn?

Primo: There were some gay porn magazines.

Me: Why would you buy gay porn if you're straight? Do gay people buy straight porn?

Primo: A lot of people are bisexual.

Me: Was your dad bisexual?

Primo: I think the appropriate term for someone who may not engage in bisexual activity but might like to look at it is bi-curious.

Me: What did your mom think about this? I am guessing this was gay men porn?

Primo: There might have been some gay women porn.

Me: I bet that would have been for your dad. I bet the only porn your mom would have wanted to see would have been of a man being nice to a woman, like making dinner for her.

Primo: I have no idea if my mom actually enjoyed this stuff or just went along with my dad to keep him happy.

Me: She wouldn't have been keeping him happy. She would have been keeping him from getting angry and hurting her.