So “The Estate” cracks me up. According to The Will, “The residue” of The Estate is to be divided into four even parts. Isn’t that such a funny visual? He gets 1/4 the residue. I get 1/4 the residue. They each get 1/4 the residue. I used to tell her leaving me in charge of three crumbs and expecting us to split it four ways is a silly venture.
Anyway, The Estate now has its own bank account after my great adventure from the last post.
I called, as the Manager of The Estate, Wells Fargo last night. Lots of 800 numbers. Much punching of the buttons. Several redials. Spelling and reselling my name. Giving account numbers.
I started with the first number I found and that got me to a sweet girl named Natalie. Now that I cry less I am usually able to get through the sentence, “my mom passed away and I need help with The Estate” without melting down. Made it through that and Natalie, being maybe in her 20s, awkwardly asked, “Was it too soon?” Not sure what she meant but my reply, “I suppose when a mom dies it’s always too soon.” More awkward silence and then we move to why I’m calling. Mortgage. Credit card. Natalie gives me the phone numbers and transfers me to mortgage since that closes at a certain time but credit cards is 24 hours. Good to know. And they are on Central Time so time’s a wastin’…
I get through to mortgages where a sweet lady pours out her love, blessings, and prayers for me and my family in this time of loss. Sincerely. As if I called the crisis line she expresses how deeply saddened she is to hear about my mothers passing. She takes all the information I have and gives me a new department to call with the official title of Life Events. It isn’t open this late but she is extremely kind and lets me know that Life Events will be privileged to help me and suggests I wait until after the holiday. Her kindness almost steals a tear but I managed to thank her for her support. She transfers me to Credit Card guy. I get disconnected but since they were so smart to tell me all the numbers I’d need I redialed with only a few seconds on hold.
Then Nick in Consumer Credit answers and again I make it through the introduction and again I am consoled and comforted by a young guy who cannot quite imagine a loss like this. Nick is helpful in explaining that I will need to speak with someone in the “Deceased department”. It is actually called that! Of course it’s after hours but he says someone will “reach out” to me most likely after the holiday.
The goal in these calls is to find out what to do about two debts I’m not personally responsible for but are my responsibility to manage for The Estate. I explain that The Estate has no money, the house will be sold to satisfy those debts, and the Residue will be split evenly amongst The Heirs. In the meantime what can they do to help? And what MUST I do to protect The Estate and The Heirs. And myself. The lawyer says loan The Estate the money to keep the payments on time to avoid fees and penalties. Easy for a lawyer to say and exactly what I would prefer to do. Most people I know, however, do not carry around that kind of cash. It can be done and it will be done but if Life Events and Deceased Department can alleviate some of the pain–suspend interest, etc. that will make it much easier on everyone.
So until next week The Estate is not in focus. Thanksgiving is! Sometimes she came to Thanksgiving. She brought a ton of food, complained about my stuffing, wanted to go home right away. The past few years she preferred a TV dinner in her own house. Sometimes with a friend. Sometimes alone. She always wanted what she wanted and there was zero use in trying to change her mind. Cranberry sauce- not whole berries- in SMALL CANS ONLY- and don’t get any if there are no small cans. I say “you know it’s ok to not eat the whole can, right? If I get you a big can you know that you can save or toss the rest. You’re not required to finish it.” But no! SMALL CANS ONLY!
When the holiday is over I will contact what I suspect will be a few more compassionate people who, after I tell them why I’m calling, will bless me and commiserate with me and console me in my loss. The Life Events and the Deceased Department will be my project along with getting utilities transferred into The Estate of Janice J. Brown, Belinda Botzong, Manager.
Thank you for listening. It’s very encouraging to get a like or a comment. Follow this and you’ll be notified when I post if you’re interested. Share with others who might benefit. Or who might lose a tear or two with me. I love my mom. She was cranky and bossy and adored me. Sometimes I was not as patient with her as I’d like to remember being. Sometimes I was hypocritical at the end because I always tell people if there is no joy in your service then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Don’t sign up for something you are going to complain about. Do everything out of selflessness. Do everything to honor the Lord and he will bless you. It was getting harder to follow that wisdom as she was getting weaker and leaning heavily on me. She would tell me “You can fire yourself you know”. And I would roll my eyes at her and say – that’s not an option. I do everything for you just like you did everything for me. You are my mom and I love you. And now I do everything for The Estate.