So much has been going on that I’m not even sure where to start. I am a schedule kind of girl and when it gets interrupted it throws me into a tizzy. I have a daily list of items for myself to accomplish and when I miss a couple I get stuck on stupid. I have to finish them or I can’t move on to the next days list. Crazy I know! Most times the items I can’t complete rely on someone or something else and is actually out of my hands. I have been working to let myself skip items and come back to them but it’s kind of like driving on a straight road, taking an alternate route and coming back to the same place.
Last summer, my husband was riddled with surgeries that had to be done, 4 to be exact. It took up a lot of my time nursing him and helping him to recover. This year however, it’s been (STILL) taking care of my father in laws estate. Mind you an estate valued at less than $15000. Ralph, passed in January, and I thought it was pretty cut and dry. He had a will, we sold his stuff, paid for his cremation, paid his bills and that would be that. Noooooooot sooooooooo FAST!
The will wasn’t probated meaning it had never been acknowledged by the court. That meant we had to hire an attorney. We got all of the necessary paperwork together and submitted what the court requested. Mind you, you submit what they ask for no more and no less. We paid a fee to both the attorney and the court for this. The court denied it and wanted more information that you’re not supposed to submit the first time. We paid the attorney and the court again and resubmitted (see the little racket going on here?!). Each time we submitted the information it was a good 30 day wait for the information to even get looked at.
While the above was going on we had to pay my father in laws trailer park rent, the utilities, move all of his things into storage, contact the other kids involved, contact bill collectors etc. We did this from January until August. While we’re almost done we’re not quite there yet. Since my husband works out of the home and working from home can be a bit thankless, it was up to me to run all of this down.
My father in law truly had very little and we live paycheck to paycheck and in trying to do the right thing we spent all of our savings (not much) and our tax return paying the trailer park rent and utilities each month. We finally sold his trailer, paid off the funeral home, and are working at reimbursing ourselves.
I cannot share the education we received with you because it would take too long but I have some advice. Please probate your will it will cut the amount of time to settle your estate by 2/3s. When writing your will, be specific. If you want things a certain way you need to write it out so that there isn’t a he said, she said going about.
Are you going to be someone responsible after someone passes? Get educated! Laws change from state to state and no assumptions can be made. Ask your loved one questions, it’s not something we want to do but it is necessary.
This has been a life altering experience for my husband and I. It has taken a lot of time and our own money to take care of the estate. Not only did my husband lose his father but we’ve both lost time off work and our own money.
What steps are you going to take to help make sure this doesn’t happen to your family?