Estates and Probate


screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-11-01-21-pmWhen a family member dies, suddenly, you don’t get an opportunity to even catch your breath.  Everyone and their realtor are on your case about when the funeral is going to be.  People get insulted when you say you don’t know.  You are questioned as to why you aren’t holding a funeral.  For the record, I think they are brutal, barbaric, and are not necessary.  I have no plans to attend my own, let alone one for anyone else.  It is a dog and pony show, designed to keep everyone else appeased.

While we are on the subject, why the need for hugs, condolences, and how much they thought of a person?  If they couldn’t say something nice to your loved one while they were alive, then just keep your big fat mouth closed.  I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear about the reminder that a lovely bird or flower will bring.  That’s a pile of shit.  I don’t want a poem about a guardian angel.  That’s also shit.  I am paranoid about birds, BTW.

The minute you meet with the funeral director you are asked how many copies of a death certificate are needed.  People don’t know that – then.  I know I need at least 10 copies.  If I get them now, it’s cheaper. You aren’t allowed to mourn.  You must stick to business.  It’s painful.  Oh, they say you have up to 3 years, but when you’re disparate to sell something in order to pay of the reverse mortgage, it’s worse.

I think a reverse mortgage is a good idea.  I still do.  The problem is if you have someone who wants the property, and doesn’t have the money to save it. A person needs longer than a year.  You can’t close probate in a year.  I’m stuck in a catch-22.

The system is brutal.  I’ve been on one ledge, today.  It is just so frustrating.  People you never see don’t make it any easier.  I really don’t want a hug from someone who hasn’t said a nice word to my mother in nearly 5 years.  Let’s face it, I don’t want a hug.  I don’t want to talk about death.  I’d rather laugh about my great-niece learning how to use a straw, today, or a photo my BFF just sent me.  Her adorable grandson, in the photo, is obviously trying out for the next generation of Top Gear.  You just don’t get any cuter.

Yes, I am well aware I’m being a total bitch from hell. Stark reality does that to a person.  My head aches.  I’m cold.  I’m frantic about money.  I want to take the dang fireplace apart, where my mother insisted on having gas logs, and turning it into a real fireplace.   I hate gas logs.  I’m painting her beloved patio furniture pink to express my disapproval of her dying on us, the way she did.

I’m also pulling down one set of kitchen cabinets.

And – I’m using my kitchen sink.

On Friday, I was going back and forth with a colleague.  He was telling me his probate woes.  I was telling him mine.  Funny thing about wills an probate.  Movies and television portray the process is something where you gather in an attorney’s office to have the will or trust read.  Forget that.  It’s a pain in the tush.  The process is just plain stupid.

  • Death certificates – up the wazoo
  • Contact attorney
  • Start the probate process
  • Cough up a couple thousand bucks.  If you don’t have a couple thousand bucks… woe unto you.
  • Give attorney copies of all important legal docs – like deeds, etc.
  • Work with probate judge.
  • Run advertisement about bills
  • Figure out medical expenses
  • Submit first inventory
  • Run 2nd advertisement about bills.
  • You have 3 months to do an inventory.
  • You must wait 4 months to see if anyone puts claims on the estate.
  • Cough up more money for the attorney.
  • Pay the probate judge
  • And so forth and so on.  They say the process takes a good year and a half.  If you are like me and must pay off the reverse mortgage or be homeless, you’re screwed.

It all reminds me of my favorite Beatles song.  This is not to be confused with my favorite Sir Paul song, which is different.  I know, it’s a technicality.