Settling the estate – Into the frying pan – Part 1

I haven’t updated this blog in quite some time. When I started this blog it was something that was to be therapeutic to me. It was a way for me to get out my thoughts and feelings and my experiences dealing with someone who I thought was a narcissist. As time as gone on, my opinion of her being a narcissist isn’t an opinion anymore….it’s a FACT. She IS a narcissist. She is a sociopath. From the time I last updated this blog about when I got my papers till now, my life got so hectic and chaotic, and my stress levels went so high, I was barely sleeping. I still don’t really know how I got through the last 6 months of my life. I was on a rollercoaster ride from hell with the most crazed, mentally depraved, sadistic monster I have ever met.

I’m going to bring you all back to right before I got my papers which in legal terms are called Letters Testamentary. For purposes of this blog, I’m going to refer to them as, “the letters” or just “letters”, to save time typing. Anyway, my mom’s first birthday in heaven was approaching and absolutely nothing had been done to settle her estate. My attorney’s had written up an agreement for us that my aunts were going to renounce their roles as executors and my brother and I would stand in place of them. In that agreement my attorney added a stipulation that one executor cannot do anything without the approval of the other. We also agreed we were responsible for our own legal fees, but more importantly, we added a very much needed stipulation that said, that we must carry out all of our executorial duties in our own personal capacity, and that no-one can stand in our place. This excluded the help of professional like attorneys and accountants.

We added that last stipulation because up until that point, it was more than clear that my brother’s wife thought she was running the show. Every time I’d make calls to different companies, I would be told that she, Satan, had already called. It infuriated me, but more so than that, it went against everything my mom wanted. For years prior to her death; even before she knew she was sick, she was telling basically anyone who would listen that she didn’t want my brother’s wife entangled in her affairs. At that time, when we all signed that agreement, I knew it was going to be difficult, but even then, I couldn’t foresee the crazy shit I was going to have to deal with.

It was the days before my mom’s Birthday, July 24th to be exact, when I received my first email from my brother. We had not had contact of ANY kind since our altercation at my mom’s house back in December 2016. The only other contact we had was an email that he had sent me back in March 2017, which was basically him trying to strong arm me into dropping my objection to my Aunts being the executors of my mom’s estate. I never answered that email. The latest one was a short email basically asking me what ideas I have as far as my mom’s estate went. Although it was only a small paragraph or two, I could just tell in the way it was written, it wasn’t my brother in whom authored it. To me it was written in a way that a used car salesman would speak to try to feel you out before he clobbers you over the head with reasons as to why you need to buy the most expensive car on the lot.

A screen shot of the first email I received from my brother on July 24th, 2017.

Later that day I went to read my husband the email my brother had sent me and so I opened the email app on my phone and started typing my brother’s email address in the search bar. Up popped two old emails from my brother but the new one wasn’t there. I thought it was strange and so I backed up a few letters, and that was when I realized… in the suggested search list, there were two different email addresses, both in my brother’s name. For instance let’s say his name was Tom Smith. His regular email was TomSmith@email.com but this new email was ThomasJSmith@email.com. I thought it was rather strange seeing that my brother had been using the first email for almost a decade prior. Why all of the sudden would he make a new email address? That would inconvenience his whole life and for someone as tech savvy as him, who’s whole life revolves around his computer, his phone and his Apple Watch, it would be devastating. The two emails I had gotten from him since my mom’s passing, were sent from his regular account, but now suddenly he was using this new one. I was already suspicious about the way the email was written, but this sudden creation of a new email only raised my suspicions.

I decided to write back to my brother and let him know what exactly my ideas were. I basically told him what my attorney told me was to happen after we received our letters, and how we needed to do things like open an estate account and collect her assets. I even named the accounts so he didn’t think he was going to get one over on me. In the past, my brother had told my husband that he didn’t think I was capable of handling the estate and that I had a tendency to put things on the back burner and not follow through. Basically in his head, I was still some irresponsible 16 year old. He had no idea who I even was. I had taken care of our mother, by myself in the last year while he was slacking off, drinking at the bars with his wife and going to yankee games. He also didn’t want my grief holding up his money.

Anyway, I wanted it to be more than clear to him that I had known exactly what was going on and what we had to do. I also wanted him to know that I had already taken several steps to secure the assets. I paid the homeowners insurance and kept the property manicured and safe. Most importantly though, under the advice of my attorney, to assure I was speaking to my brother and not his wife, I told him that we’d have to meet up at some point to discuss how we were going to do things and what needed to be done. He told me that there’s no way an estate can be settled over email. My brother completely evaded my suggestion of meeting up.

A few days later, it was my mom’s birthday and my mom’s cousin owns a house on the beach, in a small community known as Ocean Beach, on Fire Island, had requested a mass in my mother’s name at the local church, on her birthday. She had asked me if I wanted to go, months in advance. Back when she had invited me, she also asked me how I’d feel about the rest of my mom’s family and my brother being invited as well. I felt like I was being put in a really awkward position and so I explained to her that I was not really comfortable being around my family at that time. I told her that my aunts and such would probably benefit more from a mass than I would because they are religious and I am not. I basically declined her invitation, but told her I really appreciated the sentiment and the fact that she respected me enough to ask me. The truth is, there was no way in hell I wanted to sit with those phonies and watch them cry their crocodile tears over my mother, in the house of god. The only ones that ended up going was Aunt Bea, her husband, and my brother and his family. Aunt Debbie had a prior engagement, but had she not, she probably would’ve been more than happy to be the “third” wheel. God, I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall that day.

Instead of surrounding myself with fake people, I decided to spend the day with my husband and son and do things in memory of my mom. We went to her house and looked around and reminisced about days past when she was here. Then later we ate some Mexican food because that’s what my mom always wanted every year for her birthday. It was a very sad day for me and I didn’t really feel like being around anyone anyway. My mom would’ve turned 63 on her birthday that year. She was way too young to be gone.

The following day, July 31st, I got another email from my brother. This time around he completely disregarded anything that I said and instead tried to take charge. He basically reiterated what I had already told him and he started sending me lists of bills that needed to be paid, and asking me for lists of bills and such. He had already filed for an EIN Number (basically a tax ID number that’s used after you die, in place of your social security number) which he shouldn’t have done because we didn’t even have our papers yet. He also told me he had some checks that were sent to my mom, but again, how was he getting those if he wasn’t the executor yet? Things got weird when he started asking if I had this specific form that he needed to get the auto insurance bill lowered, called an FS6. I mean only an insurance agent, which is what Satan does for a living, would know that kind of stuff, and I have no idea why he’d even think I’d have that, seeing that I couldn’t do anything with her car after it got repossessed. He attached two lists to his email. One was a list of bills that needed to be paid and the other was a list of bills he claims he paid and was seeking reimbursement for. I had previously heard that he had laid out $12,000 for the estate for all the bills he had paid but in reality it was less than $2000 because he only paid one month worth of bills. Regardless, there was really no point of doing any of this because we didn’t have the letters yet, and again I was advised by my attorney that we don’t pay bills or claims against the estate right away to ensure they were valid claims. At the very end of his email, my brother told me that one of my mom’s neighbors had expressed an interest in buying the house and that it would be better for us to sell it without using a real estate broker. That was an idea I was totally uncomfortable with, especially since I was dealing with two dishonest and sneaky people. Sure it would’ve been nice to make the extra money,but again, my attorney advised me that in this situation it was a bad idea. Also, I was in contact with almost all of the neighbors and none of them were interested in buying her house.

I reached out to my attorney and told him that after receiving both of these emails, I had an uneasy feeling because it seemed as if my brother had jumped the gun and started taking steps to settle the estate before we even had the letters. I also expressed my concerns regarding the communication and how I could tell it wasn’t my brother in whom I was speaking with, due to the tone of the emails, the lists he attached and the fact that he suddenly created a new email address. None of this represents the brother I once knew. My attorney advised me to once again suggest meeting in person, since my brother didn’t acknowledge me saying that in the first email, but he advised me to wait until we got the letters. This way, if my brother refused to meet up with me or talk to me, it could be used against him with the courts. All though it wouldn’t matter until we received our letters. My attorney also told me that he received a decree in the mail and ordered 10 official copies of the letters, and that they would be at his office any day. I took his advice and sat back and waited.

Ten days went by and suddenly on August 9th, I received another email from my brother, and since I had never responded to his previous email, he decided to resend me the same exact email, only he changed the first paragraph. In the first email, he told me the Court was still waiting for my signed oath but in the second email, he changed it to vaguely tell me that the court had all the necessary paperwork and that we “should” be set to go. As my attorney advised me to do, I wrote back to him saying only this. “After we receive the letters, please let me know if a day and time that you are available to discuss these matters.”.

Those were probably the two last amicable emails that were written back and forth. From then on out it became a shit Storm of epic proportions……

To be Continued…….

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