Wednesday, July 02, 2008

One-Half Percent

I've had a bad day and wrote an insufferably long post, but I couldn't bring myself to air the entire basket of dirty laundry in public today, so...

Basically, as far as my family life is concerned, it's over. It's really, truly, over this time. I am officially an only child without parents or family members remaining.

And it was going so well with Sister. Judging by our last few conversations, we were on common ground finally and getting along well.

I guess I was wrong.

It started out great. I found out that since we're the co-executors, we have the power to transfer the funds and we can go ahead and write the partial distribution/equalization checks. That was better news, I thought, than my first chat of the day with her, where we agreed that we'd each take an equal smaller advance for now while the lawyer did the transfer.

I guess she wasn't ready to accept the whole enchilada, and the possibility of getting the money she's been whining about wanting to have RIGHT NOW for the past two years was too much, and it triggered a self-sabotaging action, and boom.

World War III. The ensueing blow out over the phone pretty much ended our relationship. We said a loooooootttt of nasty stuff. (But she started it... and I, foolishly, didn't see the trap, took the bait, and fell for it. By the time I realized what I was in, it was impossible to get out.)

After insulting me, telling me all my character flaws, accusing me of being like Anna Nicole Smith (influencing the old folks to give all their wealth to the interloper), and my hitting back with how if it weren't for my intervention, she wouldn't be getting a damned thing (among other nasties), it ended with her saying it's not equal unless I agree to pay the property tax on this house for 2007, and if I'm not going to agree to make it equal, then she isn't signing anything.

(Well, fuck you, too, princess.)

Then told me she wasn't interested in speaking to me anymore (as in ever, ever again) and hung up on me. (Just like Mother used to do when she didn't get her way.)

So in the span of a half hour, I went from about to have my share of the money and improved familial relations to maybe never having any of the money ever in my life as long as I live, plus now I officially have no family, at least none that are on speaking terms with me.


No, I'm OK. Considering.

Now, that is. I wasn't earlier, but I called a good friend sobbing, and she helped.

But I've pretty much learned to pull myself back from the ledge on my own. I'm just very, very, very disappointed in Sister's behavior (and mine).

You know why?

Because this is over the sum total of $1,100.

The property tax on this house is about $2,200 a year. If the estate pays it, we "split" it, so that's $1,100 out of her share. If I pay the entire thing, she gets $1,100 "more" because I pay her "share". She wants me to "pay" all of 2007 based on the fact that I was in residence.

I have a philosophical and a practical reason for opposing this.

Philosophically, and probably legally, the owner of the property is responsible for the tax. Therefore, the estate is responsible for the 2007 tax year because the deed was signed in April 2008. I didn't own it until then. (My argument: if you rent a house, are you responsible for paying the tax? No. The landlord/owner is. They won't come after the renter for it, they'll go after the owner for non-payment. Also, if residency is the deciding factor, then all members of the household are equally responsible, including the children, and hey, she lived here for awhile too, so...)

Besides. It's not FREE to live here. It just means no mortgage/rent. I still have to pay all the utilities, the upkeep, the insurance, AND carry my other house until it sells—with no job in a tight market, and my savings? Uh... well, I had some... (She has a job. And let's not go there, but—I was the one who was HERE in 2006... y'think maybe you could back off on this for the time being?)

Practically speaking, right now, that's a lot of money to me. Considering I'm getting maybe $20,000 in cash that I REALLY REALLY NEED, that would save my other house (the one that's on the market) from foreclosure, keep me alive, give me a cushion to live on while I find a job to support me, and to help me fix things that have to be fixed (preventatives), that $1,100 spells the difference between being OK and being almost OK. Right now, $1,100 is a LOT of money. Like half of the months' expenses until I sell my house and one horse and a bunch of stuff and have lower expenses.

I've been trying to carry two houses on no job, just savings and the freelance that dwindled away while I waited to get the money to pay those expenses while I went back to school. (The money wasn't for the graduate degree, it was for living expenses while studying full time because I'm 45 and want to get out fast, and to pay for the classes I need to take before going to grad school that financial aid will not cover due to the change in rules requiring enrollment in a degree-seeking program blah blah blah. The gist of it was, if you want to take them, you pay for them, then get into grad school and we'll give you a loan for that.)

But after Lots 1 and 3 sell, and I get my split, my bank account will increase dramatically. That $1,100 she's quibbling over will be much less painful for me to hand over to her should I "lose" the argument over who's responsible or just decide to once again defer to them over the issue. I can't do it RIGHT NOW. But I could do it LATER. I was willing to DISCUSS IT later.

Which I tried to explain to her.

She wasn't interested. And because some things are more important to her than family, she opted to destroy everything (and I played my part, I know) over eleven hundred measly dollars, which, once all is said and done and the properties sell for even a low-ball estimate, is the equivalent of...

...slightly more than 0.5 % of what she's getting overall (0.005352798 to be exact).

She did this for eleven hundred dollars. POINT FIVE. Half a percent of her total.

Apparently, my love and family membership is worth less than one-half percent.

Glad to know where I rate.



At 12:26 AM, July 03, 2008, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

I am so, so sorry. I really thought that this was all going to work out. Hard to believe what people will give up for money. Hang in there. I'll be thinking extra good thoughts for you.

At 1:28 AM, July 03, 2008, Blogger Mother of Chaos said...

Oh, what a bitter disappointment! Money just really does turn people strange in the head sometimes, doesn't it?

I'll be holding good thoughts for you.

At 3:22 PM, July 03, 2008, Anonymous tiennie said...

I am so sorry. I was hoping that everything was close to getting sorted out for you.


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