Life difficulty #2: The Estate.
I tried to write about this, but I could not reduce it to something that is understandable. In brief: my aunt P died, leaving three properties and no will. It is complex, and my brothers and sister and I are legal heirs to the estate, as well as my Aunt P 's two sisters. My father died 30+ years ago.and according to NYS law we are heirs to his portion, thus my part in this mess. One of the two living sisters lived with Aunt P in the family "homes" (3 of them)---for their entire lives! (um..a little odd....but there is lots to this story)
We were all sent paperwork by Aunt A's lawyer, asking us to allow Aunt A to be executrix of the estate. We signed it, though with reservation, as we knew what an immense job it was going to be. We knew Aunt P was a hoarder, but were beginning to sense that Aunt A was just as much to blame, and cleaning the main property was something she was not capable of doing. But we gave her the benefit of the doubt, we signed the papers, and after spending time with her in the country house, I saw how she was living and knew we were in trouble. We began to doubt her ability to do anything other than lose the estate.
We are not talking big money. The house is in poor condition though it is still worth a decent amount of money because it is in Queens, and ANY property that can be worked on is worth money. And, there are considerable leins on the house from my aunts medical bills, loans etc. There is another property of a few acres with a cabin which needs to be knocked down, and one other house that Aunt A has her name on the deed and will remain hers (but ahem, needs WORK as they have put very little into it)
Part of me wants to be very Zen, and let things play out the way they do and hope for the best...otherwise known as "it all is what it is". I see how messy this could get on many levels with brothers, sisters, aunts, and cousins, and I am not sure how much I can take of it with the already huge challenges of my job and family.
Then there is the un Zen part of me that is angry about how all of this came to be, fueled by mental illness, dysfunctionality and denial.
But knowledge is power, I have a list of questions to ask my attorney friend see what kind of legal options, are available so that we can either proceed, or choose to let it play out. None of us can afford to put much money into this, and time is a precious commodity too.
I have only skimmed the surface. There are layers and layers to this story. There have been countless hours of discussion, obsessing, and I trying to become very clear as to what I am willing to take on.
The problem is....if Aunt A loses the estate, she not only loses every one else's claim to it, but most importantly her own....which is money she needs to live on and use for her own means.
To be continued....
The Truth be Told Part III to follow. The Neighbors (yes, the blog you all have been waiting for)
Ms. Patti O Estate