I am in trouble and don’t know what to do – so I’m going to write about it
When my mother died a couple weeks ago and was buried last week, my daddy and sister went to the lawyers to do whatever with the will. And then, before her funeral, he demanded that I leave his house (read the last post) for throwing out my oldest daughter’s and her boyfriend’s drug stash and paraphernalia which he said was just stirring up shit with people – regardless, they couldn’t cook crystal meth and mainline any other crap for awhile after I threw it out.
And today, in New York where I live in Staten Island, I received the papers they sent about the will and the probate stuff. Back when Mom, over the years kept having me look up stuff in the law for her about the will – I told her at the time that she and Daddy needed to get a lawyer and to be more honest about their assets, among other things. But, they didn’t do that.
I’ve read the will, looked at it – and re-read some of the Georgia laws about it again tonight – but not all of them. And, regardless of what I can remember or not about it – that will is not a legal nor valid document. Neither is the packet of things they sent to me and neither is the proposed dispensation of valued assets – nor is it in any way close to what it should be.
Oh well. The trouble is that now I have to get a lawyer to represent my interest in it who is able to practice law in New York and in Georgia, and who knows Georgia law about estates and probate and wills and trusts and crap. It is impossible, and of course, I have no money – as usual.
However, the main problem with my mother’s will and her dispensation of their estate as well as having my Daddy or sister as the executor – is that a large number of valuable assets are not even approached adequately to satisfy the law. My mother hoarded valuables. She converted my Daddy’s money into a wealthy massive estate of antiques, collectibles, collections, dolls, art supplies, books, vintage memorabilia, musical instruments – some vintage and antique, etc.
To describe this hoard my mother worked at creating over forty years, maybe more – let me describe where it is and the extent to which it is housed in those places. My parents’ house has two rooms made from what had been a garage and a long closet plus an entire two long walls of shelves there which contain pieces of this valuable hoard. And then so does the laundry room, small hallway off the garage on the way to the kitchen, as does the kitchen, the entire dining room almost floor to ceiling. There are valuables spread throughout the living room in cases and shelves, as well as the same in the den. The enclosed back porch is entirely filled up to my eyes across its entire area with furniture and other valuables, as is their campers and RVs and sheds on properties they own in GA and SC.
Then along in their house in GA, is a long hallway totally filled with no more than a small pathway through the middle, but valuables tucked into dressers there and shelves and over and under and beside them as well. The two bedrooms on the front of the house hardly have room for any person to move because they too are filled nearly floor to ceiling with collectors’ dolls, vintage collectible toys, antiques, precious silver and coins and antique glass and thousands upon thousands of dollars of art supplies and gifts that were never given. Then the back master bedroom is filled floor to ceiling across its entire area as well as its closet with everything from porcelain head dolls in their boxes each of which is valued over $10 each by a long ways even on damn eBay – to cameras and vintage cameras and antique cherry wood furniture and other antiques, memorabilia, collectibles, Star Wars stuff, Batman stuff, clown collectibles stuff and precious valuables of just about every type.
And that is repeated throughout the same area as the living space – at the level of the attic, except there is no room to walk in there and throughout the entire space of the basement – which only has small areas to walk. And, there are 150 year old oak rocking chairs and 200 year old paned mahogany and oak windows and a roll top desk, among other things down there in that basement. And, as I said, there is enough porcelain molds for designer dolls with known designer names on them to actually set up an entire studio or class as well as a working kiln sitting somewhere in the basement and the entire set-up for a darkroom with all its necessary equipment which at one time had been set up in the basement for Dad.
My mother really resented the amount of time that my Daddy was away from home doing “working” and fixed him right good by converting as much of his money as she could into valuables that she could exchange for good money anytime she had done had enough of him and his “shitting on her” as she called it, although my mother’s idea of Daddy “shitting on her” could be that he didn’t call and meet her for lunch or didn’t feel like going on some weekend trip she wanted to do or just about any other petty little thing that was in her head at the time. She fixed him good. Now all that stuff would legally have to be inventoried before being given away, sold or bequeathed to anybody. It is literally money. There are advertising signs in that house which would easily be worth $1300-$2100 each. It isn’t a normal type of hoarding my mother was doing. It isn’t junk – she picked each piece carefully with the full knowledge she acquired in years around her Daddy horse-trading and trading up for valuables as well as her having owned and run an antique shop of her own on Marietta Square for a number of years.
And, then there’s stuff of mine that when I moved to New York, my parents – especially my mother demanded that I leave the best and most important of my things there in the room by the outside door in the enclosed garage where they both promised me that my things would be safe and nothing would happen to them until I could get them up to New York to my own place. But, that isn’t what happened. The Daddy I love actually told my oldest daughter to throw out what was being stored there by me, and to move it to places where it was damaged, to give away a lot of it. That included destroying and giving away the contents of a “brain in a box” tool that had taken me years to make which contained mnemonics to help me remember how to help myself, my exercises and other things that once remembered through that tool could make up for my brain injury’s continuing effects. Mom, Daddy and my oldest daughter knew what that brain in a box was for and how important it was to my well-being and continued opportunities to live independently and succeed at it. They didn’t care. That and a huge number of items that were critical to me were thrown away without warning, without asking me to come get them, without even telling me they were going to do it and without regard for me and my well-being at all. I have to sue them to even remedy it and that isn’t reasonable under the circumstances either. I have the least financial means of any of them, and yet – they act like that is free license to take, steal, destroy, harm, waste, ruin, shove me out “their way” – or just whatever. I can’t take that anymore. Its wrong. It has always been wrong.
It is really weird – for a long time, I thought I was living independently in the community in my own home, taking care of my own needs as a fully independent and competent adult despite my disabilities. I lived near enough to my parents to see them, talk to them on the phone and handled day-to-day living of my own – on my own. And, then – they kept putting me in mental hospitals every time I said something they didn’t like or was dating someone they thought I was screwing or just whatever. And, then I thought that didn’t seem right when sometimes, my parents had not seen me or talked to me for 3 months or six months or four months but talked to police and EMT’s and psychiatrists and doctors like they had seen me the day before or last week or as if I lived with them and they knew every detail of my daily life and were providing for it – as if they were helping me do every bit of it or else I was so incompetent that nothing for my own health and sustenance got done. But, that wasn’t the case – no one else was doing it except me. Often, unless they needed some help over at their house and didn’t want to pay someone to do it – they didn’t do much more than a phone call once a month from Mom to me asking me if I had eaten and who I was seeing and how much sleep I was getting. But, not to help – not helping at all. And, then occasionally they would buy $30 or $50 worth of groceries for me – maybe a couple times in a year – but to hear them tell it to our other family members or their church friends, it made it seem like they were buying all my groceries all the time, every week. It just wasn’t the case – I was walking two miles to buy my own groceries every week, except those couple times a year when all the money ran out and I asked for their help – especially when my daughters and granddaughter were at my house for a little while. But, no – apparently, they could legally step into my life and do whatever they wanted without any accountability, no call to a lawyer entitled to me, no nothing I could do about it, because according to the law – I’m their responsibility as a disabled adult with issues of mental health and brain injury – and although at one time, I had seizures, thankfully I haven’t had those for how many years now? I think it is 9 or ten years now without a seizure. And, it doesn’t matter that I was living independently in my own household because I wasn’t make my own living, neither married and I’m not a ward of the state – because I’m actually a ward of my family. It means that I must get a representative of the lawyer variety to have a voice in my mother’s will being probated and to contest it, to demand an audit of their actual assets – because besides the valuable massive hoard of collector’s goodies that are worth a fortune on the open market, there is actually stocks, bonds, savings and other accounts, two different sets of property, and no telling what else – none of which is being brought to the probate court through this document though it is part and parcel of my mother’s estate.
The whole thing is a mess. I told them to get a lawyer and handle it properly, do it right, get it done with an honest assessment of ALL of it – but no ….
But, no. And, years ago I found out that no matter where I lived or how long I lived there independently, the state considers it my family’s responsibility, particularly my parents’ responsibility since they continued to act on that by their very actions to remove my rights and have me placed in mental hospital after mental hospital even a week after one told me to go home, they forced me through police and their authority over me – into another one which kept me 5 days and then put me out and told me to go home. It is obscene.
So, now – not only am I the first in line heir as Mom and Daddy’s oldest daughter by birth, and not only did my oldest children who had been adopted by my parents choose to forego their inheritance to have their rights transferred to their Dad when they were in their teens – not only all that – I’m supposed to get up some magic money of a mass quantity to get a proper legal team to go explain it to them and challenge the nonsense in that damn will. And, to challenge the damn nonsense going on in that house from people who damn sure ought to know better – they threw out my things when I’m the least capable of sustaining that loss both emotionally, intellectually and financially – without regard. And, something has to make it clear that the way they have set up the will and the refusal to inventory any of those valuables which could easily amount to over $100,000 in quantity alone as well as value – RRRRHuhruRRRRrr!
Maybe – I could just walk away and let them answer to the IRS or who the fuck ever. And could I live with that? Could I live with getting screwed over by these people again without stopping them or standing up to them and saying, you aren’t going to do that – no more, not this time, not ever again. Daddy almost insured (at the insistence of my oldest daughter and my sister) that I would be in a mental hospital this week and next because of sending me away from his house and not allowing me to go to my mother’s funeral services and graveside. He and those two grown women knew better when they did it. They knew the money I and my homeless daughter had used to get me there and to pay for the bus to get me back home to Staten Island. They knew how much money it was and that my bills didn’t get paid and that I don’t have any other money. They knew it. And they knew I didn’t get to go to the storage unit and get my things out of that expense that I’ve been paying every month which I was supposed to do while I was there and move them up here along with the things that they insisted that I store at their house. They are cruel and without cause.
I might add that as a result of many miracles and nothing short of an act of God – I’m not sitting in a mental hospital this week, but instead sitting here in my apartment writing this post. I still don’t know where to get all this fixed or if I could live with walking away from them and never looking back, but that is probably what I should do. They are not worth it, no matter how much I love them – they are not worth all this. They just aren’t.
And, just for the record – I’m not going to get anything from my mother’s will, nor from my Daddy’s when he’s gone either no matter what anyway – because the government will simply take it and they might clawback from their estate anyway because they had the means and responsibility for caring for me and providing for my well-being the entire time since my head injury and certainly could afford to have done that. It wasn’t the state’s responsibility, nor the responsibility of the government – that actually resided with my family the entire time and they didn’t want to get into Mom’s shopping money. Oh well.
Sometimes, I think my mother just wanted to prove that I was disabled with mental illness with the intention of getting me on government programs or committed permanently into an institution which she tried to do several times using my friends and roommates – as they later told me. But I don’t know. It is really been awful having the mother I had, but I loved her and miss her and feel sorrow that I can’t see her smile or have her talk to me anymore. That is sad, more than everything else – she would call and say, Diane look up this – how much potassium is in blueberries? What was that law you were talking about the other day, where did you find it so I can tell Kim, she would say. Or whoever she was relaying it to – one thing and another – I was like the walking reference desk from the library to my family for the better part of the last twenty years and for the many years before the head injury mucked it up awhile. Anyway I miss that – but I won’t miss Mom calling me to do plumbing with Daddy. I am not a plumber.
Yes, it is rambling and none of what you needed or wanted to know – but I feel better having written it.