Well, well, well, it’s been quite a while since I updated this blog. I took a break from blogging because this whole story, this life; these people…..they were sucking the life out of me. Re-telling this entire story was a lot on me emotionally. Reliving the horror that was the last year and a half of my life, it was emotionally draining. I am not just mourning the loss of my mother. It is so much more than that. I am mourning the loss of life as I once knew it. I lost so much more than just my mom. I lost my family. I lost the support system that I counted on for 34 years. I lost them somewhat by choice but nevertheless it’s still a loss and a huge adjustment. Going no contact with the people you have depended on for your whole entire life is not for the faint of heart.
I began to feel paralyzed in life. Like I had no control over my future, my own feelings, my grief and most importantly, the memories of my family. I felt like I was being held hostage. My anger, my disappointment, with my family was eating me alive, day and night. I was ruminating and obsessing about how I was wronged and how angry I was at my aunts, my brother, his wife and my uncle Bob. How badly I wanted to retaliate. I was obsessed with revenge. I couldn’t wait for the day that I could finally put two middle fingers in the air and say FUCK YOU, to all of them and be on my merry way………
Well that day has finally come…..sort of…….
If you’re new here or found this blog via an interwebs search I will give you a brief summary of what has taken place as far as my mom’s estate, since she has passed. Let me preface this by saying, I knew absolutely NOTHING about the estate settling process prior to my mom’s death. All I knew was that people had wills and you needed lawyers. I didn’t have time to research it, nor did I want to research it, because prior to my mom’s death, my concern was her, being with her, caring for her, protecting her, and most importantly, spending as much time as I could with her, because I knew our time here was limited.
With that said, I didn’t think the estate settlement process was all that complicated, especially given the case that my mom had a will that stated everything was to be divided up between my brother and myself, 50/50. By all intents and purposes it should be pretty cut and dry. Well, when there’s a narcissist in the mix, it throws a narcissistic monkey wrench in all of your plans. It was two days after we said our final goodbyes, to my mom, Black Friday to be exact, that my husband got a text from my brother that read, “I saw a lawyer today, either [me] can hand over the will that names my Aunt Bea and aunt Debbie as executrix or I will be going to court on Monday to file for administration.”. I had no idea wtf any of that meant, but thanks to Professor Google, I got a crash course in the basics of estate settlement and surrogates court procedures. That Saturday, my brother followed up with a phone call to my husband, trying to manipulate him into manipulating me, to go along with whatever he was going to do. Basically he tried to convince my husband that I’m some type of lazy, irresponsible, foot dragging, teenage like, type person who was going to slow down the process and prevent him and Satan from collecting the maximum possible inheritance that they can get. I’ll admit, my husband was almost fooled because my brother, he is an intelligent person, (in some regards) and he knows how to put together a very convincing argument. I was woken up by this, that morning and I was livid because I knew EXACTLY what my brother was doing. You see when you are an executor or administrator, you are privy to collecting a “fee” for your services. It can be anywhere up to 3% of the estate and in an estate my mom’s size, you are talking an extra $15,000 – 20,000. All I could hear was my mom in the back of my head saying, “I don’t want that bitch having any of my money.”. After all I had been through, after how horribly they treated my mom for the last three years, I wasn’t about to let that happen. They did absolutely NOTHING to help her while she was sick and suffering. They just wanted to be in control because for narcissists like Satan, being in control of everything around them, is the only thing they know how to do.
My mom and dad paid a lawyer to draft wills for them for a reason. That will was in there to protect not only my mom’s assets, but to protect me and my brother. Why would we act as if there was no will? One of the selling points my brother made to my husband was that the administration process was going to be much quicker than probating the will. That was a complete and utter lie. In a true “intestate” (death without a will) situation, because there is no will in place, and therefore no named heirs, the court needs to locate the heirs. They must do so by seeking out ALL next of kin after someone has filed for letters of administration. They do so by notifying them that “person A” has filed for letters of administration (meaning they will take on the same role as an executor). The court must then wait for each and every next of kin to respond, this can include siblings, children and surviving parents, etc. Each has the right to object to the person becoming the administrator. Basically put, it takes just as long if not longer than probate.
I wasn’t about to agree to anything my brother said without first speaking to a lawyer, and so I reached out to a friend who happened to work for an estate attorney, and asked if I could make an appointment. Prior to this, I thought my brother had the original copy of my mom’s will and he thought I had it. That same Friday, I tried calling the lawyer who wrote my mom’s will but no one answered. I figured they were in vacation for the holiday and would be back sometime next week. That Monday, I met with the attorney and he informed me that usually people do not keep the original copies of their own wills. What I had that I had taken from my mom’s safe (with her ok and instructions to do so) was only a copy. My lawyer informed me that it was possible to probate a copy, but it would be a little more difficult. He told me to keep trying to track down the original copy and let him know in a week or two wether or not I was able to find it. I tried calling the lawyer once again that Monday, but the number to his office just kept ringing and ringing. I wasn’t even sure that the lawyer was still in practice and so I hit the internet to search for some more info about him. I found a website under someone who had the exact same name as him but it wasn’t for a lawyer, it was for some capital finance company and so took a chance and I sent an email to the link on the site. As I kept digging, I found a PDF flyer that this person who had the same name as him, was speaking at an alumni event at a local college. They had his cellphone number listed on the flyer and so I called that. I got a generic answering machine and left a message, hoping that it was him.
A few days later, a woman called me back and told me that she was the secretary to the person who had the same name as the lawyer. I explained my situation to her and she told me that she had to check a security deposit box and would call me back in a few days. It took almost two weeks, and me calling her a few times until finally, I got a call back that she had found the will and she’d over night it to me. I got it two days later and brought it down to my lawyer as soon as I could.
At that point we weren’t 100% sure if my brother had actually filed for administration or not, but it didn’t really matter. A will automatically trumps any administration attempts. Ironically the same day I dropped the will of with my lawyer, I pulled into my driveway and a minute or so later, a process server pulled up in front of my house and served me with a citation that my brother had indeed filed for letters of administration….just as he said he would. My lawyer told me that he has never, in his 40+ years of law, seen ANYONE file for letters of administration that quickly after someone died…..EVER. He told me that the paperwork alone took at least 2 weeks to prepare…
Just to put this into perspective here,
- My mom died on Sunday Nov. 20th.
- I spent the entire day preparing for her wake on, Monday the 21st.
- Tuesday the 22nd Wed the 23rd was her wake services.
- Thursday the 25th was thanksgiving
- Friday the 26th was the only open business day of that week and I assume most attorneys were off.
- Sat the 27th and Sunday the 28th don’t count
- Monday the 29th thru Wednesday, December 1st were the only legitimate business days because……
- By Thursday December 3rd, my brother filed his petition for Letters of Administration.
That left only 4 business days to do a “diligent Search” for the will. A diligent search would include calling lawyers and looking at public records down at the surrogate court building, amongst other things.
My brother had no idea I had found or filed the will, but when I informed my lawyer that we had a text from my brother not only acknowledging the will, but giving specifics about who was named as executors, he had to pick his jaw up off the floor. He explained to us that when you filed for LOA (letters of Administration), you sign an affidavit that states that you did a diligent search for a will and have determined to the best of your knowledge that no will existed. Not only did my brother know a will existed, he put it in writing and sent it to us. It was like a gift from god. It really was. He perjured himself in a court of law and could’ve faced criminal charges because of it.
Prior to my brother finding out that I had entered the will, and during the time he thought his false attempt at gaining control was a sure bet, “he” sent me this letter (and by he I mean Satan), that stated that he was taking care of everything until an estate account was established. He even went on to list specifics such as paying her “car note” (🤢), her oil bill, her homeowners and car insurances, the electric, etc. He tried to sound all professional with his words like “car note” and by saying things like, she will be assigned an FEIN number “in Leiu of a social security number”. It was written in a way to make it sound like what he was doing was very complicated and over my head. He gave me these stupid, useless facts and worded them so they sounded important and like he was keeping me “up to par” and in the loop. (The surrogate court wants to see that you are being amicable and communicative while they are determining whether or not they will appoint you as administrator). It was all a bullshit formality. He made sure to mention that our emails exchanges from then on our needed to be kept professional because they were going to be on record with the courts.
My brother and Satan’s biggest problem here is that they both have severely underestimated me and my intelligence. My brother is an intelligent dude. I will give him that. He is book smart. He’s a fact memorizer and test taker but he can NEVER rival me on book smarts…..
This is the end of part one. Please see part 2