Saturday, September 12, 2009

Attack from the Grave

I requested a copy of my dad's estate from the county clerk. I was first told that there was a Will on file. Sister and I knew that - the boys had told us that there were constant threats to "change the will." Dad also told Sister and I he changed his will to leave everything to us and the other kids in 2002 when we had that brief reconciliation.

The first page of the document lists his wife Rita as the executrix and then lists all the "living issue". this is a document that was filled out by Rita when she qualified as executrix. Alex and Ned (the oldest and youngest boy) and Tina (the daughter) are all listed with dad's last name. But Adam (the middle son) has the last name I remember, which is the same as the uncle. Sister and I are listed with our maiden names but our current cities of residence. So Rita knows where we live.

The will itself is dated June 1993. Everything, as I expected, is left to Rita. If she had pre-deceased him then everything would have gone, in trust, to the uncle for Rita's four children. In the body of the will, written in 1993, they are listed as all having Rita's last name. Down further it says "It is my express intent not to make any provision in this My Last Will and Testament for my two children , Sister and Me."

The first thing I noted, is that my name is spelled wrong on the listing of the surviving issue. No biggie there - Rita probably didn't know. Then I noticed the date - June 1993. Rita and Dad married in January 1993. I hadn't even graduated high school when the will was written. I was still in some phone contact, albeit about financial aid stuff for college, with Dad. And he had written us out already? Next I notice that in the body of the will, my name is also spelled wrong. My name is spelled uniquely. I've never met anyone with the same spelling. My sister's name is more common, but is also spelled wrong - an obvious typo. Later, the will references that it is dad's intent to adopt the four children.

Why the name issues? Is Rita so pissed at Adam that she deliberately referred to him as his pre-adoptive name. I was right (knew I was) - despite his being the third child, I know he has a different dad. The others have the same father. It explains why he has always been treated badly and is the black sheep of the family. I wonder why the body of the will doesn't use that name. I called Sister and she thinks maybe he went back to his birth name at marriage, but I don't think so give the high regard he has for my father.

Sister says she knows he changed the will. I know that Dad asked for our legal names (whether we kept our maiden name or dropped it when married) and our social security numbers, to change his will and insurance beneficiaries. I think he probably did that.

I don't doubt that we were disinherited again. But I do doubt that this 1993 document is the latest. Will I do anything about it? No - I talked to my relatives and they insist the lake property passes outside the will. I'll trust them. Sure it would have been nice to inherit enough to pay off the school loans. But not realistic.

It does really bother me that his document is dated less than 6 months after Dad kicked us out. I guess he had forgotten us already. Written off. Dust wiped off his feet.

It hit me harder than I expected. But I'm coping - the way I know how. It works....for now.


lawyerchik said...

I'm so sorry, Enola. I don't know how your dad could not have seen what a terrific person you are. (I'd bet that Rita had more than a little something to do with it.)

Marj aka Thriver said...

You are braver than I am, Enola. I think when my mother dies and my brother gets everything, I won't want to know about any of it.

There's just no way to prepare for this type of thing, even if you think you have. It hurts, I know.


Ethereal Highway said...

Your post very clearly illustrates the title you selected for it. How terrible that you and your sister were treated this way. you deserved better.

Beautifuldreamer said...

There's no easy way to deal with being so summarily dismissed by your father.

This is a hurt which goes deep; I hope you find a healthy way to deal with it.

My best to you!

Colleen said...


Lynx217 said...

My cousin just put all of my Mom's stuff in boxes and then outside where Nature quickly ruined everything - and didn't even bother trying to contact me about it for weeks. But I came to realize the most valuable things are the ones that cannot be taken from me - the memories of 20+ years living under one roof.

Casey said...

You have posted this so well. I always feel awkward to express my pain regarding my parents and thier wills.

They were divorced and both remarried. My dad went on to have 2 other kids...we were left out of the picture. We were asked to pay for the funeral by those kids though.

My mom and step dad left everything to my youngest brother. He was only 3 when they married, so I kind of get that. would be nice to have just a keepsake. Some little memento of both of that I can know somewhere that I exist...that I matter.

I am not saying this right...its just uncomfortable for me.

Kahless said...

I am sorry Enola. This is really hurtful.

{{{{thinking of you}}}}