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fleaball

Battle Kitten: Ascension

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Today in Dead Momma Drama: actually I kinda hate myself for writing that. But anyway. 

 

Was trying to help my father fill out all the forms to be Personal Representative (Executor) for the estate. He spelled her middle name wrong on all the forms, didn't know what day she died, and also almost spelled her first name wrong once or twice. As in started writing the wrong name and corrected himself. Because he always used to intentionally call her a name very similar to her real name. It wasn't a nickname. And I remember when my brother and I were little we were both like "wtf that's not mom's real name" and he just brushed it off. But I digress. So there was that. He also complained about not being able to understand the legalese on some of the forms that I thought was very straightforward? And then there's one form that's required but that we don't actually see any need for and we're kinda confused on how we're supposed to handle it. I texted @Severine to see if she had any insight and it turns out we may not need the PR. Depends on whether we have to file taxes for her. I've already emailed our tax lady to find out. So now my father is pissy about the fact that we may not need it? Idfk. (Side note, Severine also said she was sorry my mother refused to make a will, and I realized I'm not super pissed about it anymore? Annoyed af that we have no idea what we're even supposed to be doing right now and mad on principle, I guess, but it's too late now and we're never getting a will from her, so clinging to that anger is just a waste of energy. Progress?)

 

Mentioned that the only thing my mother did right was having a beneficiary on her life insurance "even if it was the wrong one" because we would have needed the PR stuff if the check had been made out to her estate. That flew over his head. I pushed it and asked when you get a social security number for a newborn, "because she did took out that policy 10 days after I was born, so I don't know why she put it in your name when she was adamant that it was in mine." Another blank stare. I made one more comment about it that I forget now but then gave up to go eat my Chinese food that I really didn't want. 

 

I'm so aggravated because his entire thing with this life insurance money is "I need it [to pay for the funeral expenses, to do work on the house, to pay off the mortgages]" and he just hasn't done anything with it, except put it in the bank a week before the check expired because I told him he'd have to call for a replacement since they wouldn't talk to me anymore. All of the overtime he was running himself into the ground doing "to dig [himself] out of this hole" with the mortgages? He hasn't made a single extra payment on anything. Never mind that even without that and the life insurance he has enough to pay off the mortgages. It would hurt a little, but then he'd have the money from the monthly payments building up in his account and also not be paying interest. He's like me in terms of doing things "right" and being concerned about what you "should" do, and probably where I got it from tbh, and always wants to research the shit out of things and talk to a bunch of people, so I think he's waiting to talk to a guy at Fidelity about it. Except he's been talking about making an appointment since November and hasn't done shit. I don't even know if this guy is a financial planner or just an investment adviser. Or what the difference would be. I DO know that if I were pissed about the amount of money I owed on a house and had enough cash to pay it off, I fucking would. Fuck waiting for advice. Like even a mortgage interest deduction (whoops that's gone now, isn't it?) is not worth not having that shit gone. He thinks he somehow is super poor despite the fact the money that he has in an IRA, bank accounts, and the fact that he has a city pension coming to him. But he has no actual idea what his financial situation is like. I don't think he's ever checked his credit report. He has outstanding things in collections, which I've told him about and gave him all the associated paperwork my mother never did anything with, and he hasn't addressed those either. They're all still sitting in a folder next to the chair he was sitting in when I handed them over. Getting back to my original point, it grates on me so hard that this man is holding my money hostage because he "needs" it but isn't doing anything with it. He said "we'll have to discuss" what to do with it, but won't actually talk about it. Fucking tell me no and be done with it. It's not like he put it in a separate account to give to me as like, a housewarming gift or something when I move out. (I have access to all his accounts so I know this for a fact.) He just doesn't have the balls to tell me that he's not going to honor my mother's wishes and instead he keeps pretending certain conversations never happened and just making vague noises about talking about it later. 

 

I didn't intend to rant about that, but it happened. Whoops.

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I hope the tax lady and people at the courthouse are knowledgeable and helpful. It's so many forms (plus a filing fee) to do probate that it's definitely worth seeing if you really need to do it before jumping through all the hoops. IANAL but all of our experiences with D's dad's death were that anything held jointly with a right of survivorship (joint bank accounts, house deeds, etc.) passes by operation of law to the surviving spouse and never goes through probate. So at least he doesn't have to worry about that stuff. And you said there were no other assets/debts/whatever in only her name with no beneficiary, so...yeah. Definitely ask tax lady and court people and possibly get a 30-60min appointment with an estate lawyer (a lot of lawyers do an intro meeting like that for free, or for a small amount like $100, and some will even do it on the phone) to get straight answers to your basic questions and a clear set of instructions on what to do.

 

Edited to add: also, this is technically your dad's problem? So if you really feel done with it, remember that giving him a lawyer's number and telling him he just needs to call an expert is an option. Only you know whether that is a net increase or decrease in anxiety and friction, and do whatever you need to do. But you don't have to solve this if it's a bad tradeoff for you to take it on vs. handing it off.

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Today's crisis: he came home early, which is bad for me in general. I go into the kitchen and he asks me if I know why there are paper towels all over the floor. I say yes, my brother put them down last night because there was water. We both shrugged it off as my father having spilled something again, but I didn't tell him that. He says "well I'm only asking because I came down in socks and I stepped in it." ...I'm sorry you were so inconvenienced? Then I notice that the paper towels, which have been there for at least 12 hours now, are still soaking wet. This is not good. I'm trying to look around and figure out where the water is coming from, and every time I move he winds up moving to stand directly in front of me? Not like he's trying to hide something or block me on purpose, he's just that much of an idiot. Open the dishwasher, and it's full of water? The water on the floor must be from the door not being properly closed when the machine apparently turned itself on?? I managed to get it to drain, but this is not good. 

 

recap time: he bought this dishwasher two weeks after my mother died, because the old one was apparently busted and we didn't know it until the cleaning ladies ran it. So that's late August. We didn't fucking use the thing until October? November maybe? And only at my prodding. It turned itself off after about ten minutes and wouldn't turn back on no matter what buttons I hit. He called the flakey plumber, dude never showed up. I kept telling him that the guarantee from the store had probably passed but the credit card he bought it on probably had 90-day protection or something, but that was running out and he needed to get on that. Nothing. That credit card is now closed because it was in my mother's name and he was only an authorized user, so whoops. 

 

Anyway. So now he's stomping around having a tantrum and whatnot. But the whole thing is the plumber's fault for never coming around to check it out. Not my father's for not following up with him or anyone else about it. I asked him where all the paper towels were (he hides them every time he buys them because he thinks my brother uses too many?) and he went to fetch them from somewhere in the cellar and then I hear him screaming at himself for being a fucking moron. True, but unnecessary. I clean up the water on the floor while waiting for my coffee to do its thing, I hear him in the living room yelling at himself "why am I fucking watching this bullshit when I have shit to do?!" Today would be a good day to go driving and not be home to deal with his shit, except I've already committed to banging out another job application and trying to organize the shit I want to sell on eBay/Craigslist/Facebook/whatever. I've had a box of stuff forever that I just haven't wanted to deal with, but now would be a good time for it, both to clean out the clutter and to get some money out of it. (And perhaps some pleasure for getting rid of gifts I never wanted either.)

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6 hours ago, Severine said:

I hope the tax lady and people at the courthouse are knowledgeable and helpful. It's so many forms (plus a filing fee) to do probate that it's definitely worth seeing if you really need to do it before jumping through all the hoops. IANAL but all of our experiences with D's dad's death were that anything held jointly with a right of survivorship (joint bank accounts, house deeds, etc.) passes by operation of law to the surviving spouse and never goes through probate. So at least he doesn't have to worry about that stuff. And you said there were no other assets/debts/whatever in only her name with no beneficiary, so...yeah. Definitely ask tax lady and court people and possibly get a 30-60min appointment with an estate lawyer (a lot of lawyers do an intro meeting like that for free, or for a small amount like $100, and some will even do it on the phone) to get straight answers to your basic questions and a clear set of instructions on what to do.

 

Edited to add: also, this is technically your dad's problem? So if you really feel done with it, remember that giving him a lawyer's number and telling him he just needs to call an expert is an option. Only you know whether that is a net increase or decrease in anxiety and friction, and do whatever you need to do. But you don't have to solve this if it's a bad tradeoff for you to take it on vs. handing it off.

Courthouse isn't picking up their phone. >_> I'll try again tomorrow. Haven't heard back from the tax lady yet, but she has a full-time job elsewhere so I'm not surprised. I really hope we don't have to file this because god knows I'll wind up going in with him to get it done. He keeps bitching about how he doesn't want to get a lawyer so hopefully that doesn't wind up being a thing. He's like 1000% anti-lawyer no matter the circumstances. (Doesn't help that when my grandmother died my bitch of an aunt pushed him to getting some cousin's relative who's a real estate lawyer to do all the paperwork. And this guy massively fucked it up so then he had to go get an actual estate lawyer to clean up the mess.) I'm pretty sure she has outstanding things in collections as well; I've found old paperwork that I know she wouldn't have paid, but I don't really want to touch that with a ten foot pole. (We keep getting calls from a debt collector but they don't say who they're calling for, so I'm not getting involved.)

 

If I can't get anyone at the court to help me over the phone and the tax lady says we need to file for her, I'm just going to tell him to make a single appointment with a lawyer like you said. Thank you for putting it in terms of increasing/decreasing anxiety for me. I've been thinking about it and I know it's not my problem right now, but if it goes undone and then he has to scramble to do things come tax time, for example, it definitely becomes my problem in terms of dealing with his bullshit, if nothing else. I'm trying to draw lines of what I will and won't do (e.g. he asked me a few weeks ago if something had cleared his bank account or something and I said "I haven't checked it since we made your login for it because it's not my responsibility.") but there are things that need to get done regardless and it's less anxiety for me to help get them done than to deal with him stomping around the house screaming about how stupid he is. Sorting this out, while annoying, isn't really that much effort on my part. I know I'm still enabling him and letting the codependency win out, but yeah so long as I'm stuck here I'm going to take care of my mental health as best I can. 

 

Also, in a weird way I think I'm treating doing this kind of thing as earning my keep? I don't pay rent or contribute to utilities (and to be fair neither does my brother and it's never been asked of us) and I refuse to clean the house because it's 99% my father's mess, but I feel better by doing smaller things like this?

 

6 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

Your dad sucks. I'm sorry.

 

3 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

Agreed. 

<3

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5 hours ago, fleaball said:

I hear him screaming at himself for being a fucking moron. True, but unnecessary. I clean up the water on the floor while waiting for my coffee to do its thing, I hear him in the living room yelling at himself "why am I fucking watching this bullshit when I have shit to do?!"

 

I'm just going to leave these here:

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/roo/d/1-bedroom-in-3-bedroom/6468317854.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/roo/d/roommate-wanted-for-luxury-2/6468904985.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/roo/d/460-room-available-in/6446168835.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/roo/d/union-square-somerville-1-bed/6469178151.html

 

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Sorry, now that I posted that I'm worried it reads as dickish, so let me elaborate. I know you've got money constraints and I know you hesitate to commit to a new place until you know where you're going to be working, but the place you move to doesn't have to be a forever place. And there are places out there that are cheap enough that even if you just Lyft for the next 6 months you can totally make rent and have enough left for food and a social life and an income-adjusted student loan payments. Or, if your income is too low for that, put them into forbearance for six months.

 

My honest opinion is that there's never going to be a perfect or maybe even a good time to leave, and that staying there is just prolonging your misery. It might be worth starting to consider whether it's time to move out, even with an imperfect half-formed plan. I will move your stuff for free in my truck. And Somerville is close enough to everything that most jobs will be a tolerable commute, and honestly even just doing Lyft and going home to a clean house full of sensible people who respect your personal space and let you use the kitchen without weird dread will be such a huge quality-of-life improvement.

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3 minutes ago, Severine said:

Sorry, now that I posted that I'm worried it reads as dickish, so let me elaborate. I know you've got money constraints and I know you hesitate to commit to a new place until you know where you're going to be working, but the place you move to doesn't have to be a forever place. And there are places out there that are cheap enough that even if you just Lyft for the next 6 months you can totally make rent and have enough left for food and a social life and an income-adjusted student loan payments. Or, if your income is too low for that, put them into forbearance for six months.

 

My honest opinion is that there's never going to be a perfect or maybe even a good time to leave, and that staying there is just prolonging your misery. It might be worth starting to consider whether it's time to move out, even with an imperfect half-formed plan. I will move your stuff for free in my truck. And Somerville is close enough to everything that most jobs will be a tolerable commute, and honestly even just doing Lyft and going home to a clean house full of sensible people who respect your personal space and let you use the kitchen without weird dread will be such a huge quality-of-life improvement.

Not dickish! The problem is that even as cheap as those are, I can't afford it right now. Lyft has been super super slow since the holidays so I'm not making a lot, plus I'm already in a hole and owe my brother a bunch of money. I haven't even made enough the past few weeks on Lyft to prove to anyone that I could afford an apartment, let alone pay first/last/security deposit. My federal loans are already on IBR and my private loan gives no fucks what I make, they still want their money. So while I totally agree with you, it's straight up not feasible. 

 

And while technically I could have been out Lyfting more, the market still sucks. I was out for 9 hours on Friday and had 15 rides, most of which were $5. For contrast, the very first day I did it was a Friday and in 10 hours I had 23 rides at an average of $8 each. I'm hoping that with all the schools back now (BU and Tufts started last Thursday, I didn't check any of the others) things will pick up, but it's not something I can count on and I don't feel comfortable moving out while more than broke.  

 

If things pick up then you're totally right, I could make rent for any of those places in a single week if Lyft were still paying what it was pre-Christmas. I've already been thinking about it myself tbh. I just don't feel comfortable moving right now. Living paycheck to paycheck would be tolerable if I knew exactly what I'd be making every week, but with no guarantee of that and already owing my brother a bunch of money, I'd rather have the stress of living here with familiar bullshit than the unknown stress of moving out and trying to pay rent and utilities and whatever else.

 

1 minute ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Sev's right. Living with your family is holding you back. Get out.

It's like someone lit up the Tank Signal. I knew you'd be here agreeing with her.

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1 minute ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Strategy time! Whenever he asks you to enable his BS start negotiations to lower your debt to him for each act or favor.

I can get behind this. (Now watch him magically start being responsible and not needing me.)

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8 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Strategy time! Whenever he asks you to enable his BS start negotiations to lower your debt to him for each act or favor.

 

The hilarious part is that he would probably really like this? He's already occasionally paying you to run his errands, right? This would basically be the equivalent of him having a giant prepaid sister taskrabbit account. 

 

I'm hoping a job (basically any job with a steady paycheck) comes through sooner rather than later because it'd be so much nicer to know in advance what you're going to be making. I would definitely be stressed out by the unpredictability of Lyfting.

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