Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday’s Child – Dance of the Wills

Update - I’m happy to report this matter is nearly resolved. Changes in the Public Trustee’s office meant there was no longer a need for this matter to go to probate. Payment of my dad’s share of his brother’s estate is slated to arrive shortly.
But this is how it was last year and for that reason I have chosen to run this again.

From Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dance Of The Wills

Bike rides have a way of clearing my head. Matters get resolved in some fashion. Perspectives change. Life gets easier.
Yesterday was like that.
My sister is about to be invited to contest our dad’s will. It’s because the Public Trustee’s office needs it to go through probate in order for his estate to receive his share of his brother’s estate.
Uncle Reynold was in public care for virtually all his adult life. Government money he received went in to the bank. He died a few years ago and his money is to be distributed evenly among his survivors.
My lawyer will send my sister a letter explaining the need for probate and advising her she has six months to contest dad’s will. This is where the fun begins.
She’ll be upset and will rail at me for doing something to her. Not that she needs a physical trigger for this.
She recently decided for no earthly reason that I’d sent Social Services to investigate her. When my husband took the call the other night she ranted about not wanting to be victimized any more and demanded of him that she speak to “that thing you live with.”
A registered letter from a lawyer is sure to send her around the nearest bend, and she’ll insist on knowing just what it is that I’m up to.
I can explain the situation, but I can’t advise her. I’m in a conflict of interest because it’s my money she’d be getting.
I don’t think she’d contest dad’s will of her own accord, but she’ll talk to her friends and our relatives and somebody will tell her to do it.
Because she is an AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) recipient, the Public Trustee’s office can contest the will for her of its own volition.
I can’t do anything about it. It is very possible that she could be awarded every penny of our inheritance. I’ve already told my lawyer that if it’s contested I’ll just pay it.
Am I rolling over and exposing my throat like the losing dog does in the fight? Well, yeah, I am. But I won’t win so there’s no point dragging it out.
It’s hard to not to resent the situation it. I put up with her violence and abuse. Now I may have to pay her for it.
The government believes private money is better than than public, and that’s why the Public Trustee’s office can make a bid for reallocation of an inheritance. In theory that’s great, but an AISH recipient can have up to $100,000 in the bank and still get the monthly cheque. Public money is still being spent.
It was tough to swallow at first, but it’s getting easier. I went for a bike ride yesterday and the fresh air cleared my mind. It was a fairly warm day, but not too warm, really just a pleasant day in fullness of a mature northern summer.As I pedaled I thought. I have a good life. I have a love and friends and a home and no debt.
I step outside and see the mountains. I have fresh food and fresh air and can go hiking or biking or anything else I want any time I want.I have my own vehicle. I work at home.
I’m living the life I want.
My sister collects AISH and lives in a mental construct of hell. She called me evil recently and at the time I am sure it was her absolute truth. Whatever she accuses me of she believes at the time. I understand that.
She is largely unable to help herself and is swayed easily by others. She doesn’t listen to me, but she accepts as gospel the most nonsensical claims of others.
Most of my inheritance is my bank account with only a bit left in the estate account. I was going finish paying for dad’s headstone next month then close the account and send my sister her remaining allotment.
I can’t do that now because of probate.
I can’t touch my portion of my inheritance either because I might have to pay it all to my sister. She might give it all away or spend it on whatever she fancies.
It is difficult to not resent the fact that the money my dad wanted me to have, the inheritance he designated for us to share equally, could go to her and quickly slide through her fingers.
Certainly I’m imagining the worst outcome for me because I need to prepare for it. It may not happen. But should this come to pass I have to be ready.
And it is, after all, only money.


the Bag Lady said...

So glad it didn't come to this!!

Leah J. Utas said...

Me, too.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you -- I'm so glad that things are almost resolved.

I feel for what you've been through. I have a friend who's been through something similar. You have a good perspective, and I relate to what you said about hiking, biking, and being outdoors helping to clear your mind and bring you fresh perspective.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thnak you so very much for your kind words, Thomma Lyn.

Reb said...

I too am glad it didn't come to this.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Reb.

Sandi McBride said...

Oh my Leah...we are going through something of a similar nature...attorneys are being called on sisters are turning against sister (and for once it isn't me, lol) No fun will be had for any of us, it seems. Good luck on your end of things! Hope it all comes out fairly.
thanks for the visit!

Polly Kahl said...

Looks like you dodged a bullet this time Leah, but I agree with your comment in your post that it's best to be prepared for the worst. Not that you should walk around being negative, but be realistic, because otherwise you could have your heart broken all over again.

Dawn said...

Hope it all pans out in the end, Leah.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hello Sandi, thanks for stopping by. Good luck with your issues.

Yes, Polly, I have dodged a bullet. I've found it's best to be prepared.

Thanks for the well-sishes, Dawn.

Leah J. Utas said...

Wishes. The well-wishes.
But I'm sure sishes are wonderful,too.