Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Will Be Done

I find myself in a weird position this week (no jokes about reading the Karma Sutra upside down again please). My aunt’s estate (the aunt who died back in September) is, I think, finally being sorted out on Friday. Certainly my mother has received a call from the solicitor to pay them a visit on this day to get things “finalised”.

Without going into personal and, frankly, uncomfortable detail the basic facts are these: the estate looks like being divided up between me and my two sisters as neither my mother nor my grandfather want a single penny of the money.

I feel rather ambivalent about the forthcoming “jackpot”.

On the one hand I won’t deny that the money – any amount really – would be a huge boost to Karen and me and could see us airlifted quite spectacularly out of the foaming waters of dire straits (as opposed to the foolish guitar licks of Dire Straits). It could see our debts cleared, the mortgage possibly lopped down to a more manageable size... maybe even a few improvements around the homestead and a holiday somewhere inland in the summer.

I have no idea of the amount coming our way and to be honest I haven’t felt comfortable enough to enquire... and yet, secretly, furtively, speculation has been running rife in the daydreamy part of my brain. I can’t help it.

If £££ I could do this and this and that. If... if... if...

I guess it’s only human nature and, after all, why not be grateful and just enjoy the breaks that life throws your way? Life isn’t routinely so generous... make the most of the opportunities, I say.

But it also feels distasteful. And disrespectful to my aunt’s memory. As if somehow she has been reduced down to some moderately impressive figure on the green screen of an ATM. Was this all she was good for? All this money and what good did it do her? Suddenly the £££ symbolizes a wasted life and opportunity after opportunity shunned out of fear and ignorance.

Maybe I’m just being oversensitive? It seems wrong somehow to benefit from death and yet, looking at it philosophically, somebody almost always benefits. That’s as much a part of life as... well, death, really.

Why, this time, shouldn’t it be and mine who find the golden ticket? When I think how hard Karen and I work and yet how little progress we seem to make financially... I think we bloody deserve it.

Ho hum.

I guess all I’m trying to do is convince myself that it’s ok to be pleased about what’s coming...

19 comments:

Reluctant Blogger said...

Um yes, I do know what you mean. But when it has happened to me, I have always comforted myself with the fact that the person concerned would have wanted to make my life a little easier and that it is much better that the money goes to the family than to the tax man where it just disappears and is probably misused.

You certainly deserve a break, Steve. Your aunt does not suffer in any way because of anyone having the money or planning what to do with it and would probably be pleased to see the differences it will make to you.

But I too do feel uneasy about the money aspect of things and about inheritance - with the rich getting ever richer and the poor trapped in poverty because of the way money is passed down. But we have to work with the system we've got.

It is rather nice to remember a holiday, or something like that, and think "we had that because of Gt Aunt Doris" - you can toast her when you are there.

I am really happy for you!

The Sagittarian said...

I agree with RB. (well, she paid me too....)
No seriously, I think you deserve it and am sure Aunty MoneyBags wouldn't mind a jot. Honour her memory by doing something you really want that is worthwhile to you. Hugs, A

missbehaving said...

If you bequeathed someone something, would you not want them to take it and run with it and enjoy it and hope that it made their lives slightly better/easier/more enjoyable?

Course you would!

Steve said...

Hi Gina, I know what you mean about the rich getting richer because wealth stays within the tight confines of a small group of families but at the same time i intend to ensure that my boys are well taken care of when the time comes... Not that they're liable to be inheriting a vast fortune! I think you're right - whatever we do with the money will be a good way to remember my aunt.

Amanda, to the point and on the ball as always. I can't argue with your logic and would never dream of arguing with your illogic should you ever exhibit any. Which you don't. I'll shut up now.

Missbehaving, and I can't argue with you either. Thank you muchly!

Rol said...

I have to agree with everyone else - I'm sure your aunt would want to help you out as part of her legacy, and you deserve a break after all this struggling.

Steve said...

Cheers Rol. I shall name the limo after you... ;-)

Steve said...

...Or should it be a Rols Royce?

Brother Tobias said...

Everyone's already said it. It was hers to leave and your Aunt chose to leave it to family. She's left you the option to pass it on to Gordon Brown to hand out on the latest pay rise for MPs, or for booking Max Clifford to pretty up the reputation of a handful of sleazy Labour peers. Quite right too. We should do our giving to charity when it is we who are giving, not our heirs. But most people would reckon it's better invested in a hard-working, underpaid public servant who will never receive a Christmas bonus or a golden handshake. I hope it's enough to make a difference. Nice of your Mum and Grandfather too.

Steve said...

It is Brother T, though - as I didn't perhaps explain - there was no will made at all. The money therefore should have passed to my grandfather as next of kin but he doesn't want it... and due to bad blood between my mother and my aunt she, as next in line, does not want it either. Weirdly everyone is trying to do the right thing and passing it to me and my sisters seems to be the best option. Not that I'm complaining. But the waters are muddier than I can go into here.

justme said...

Steve....don't worry about it. Far better that it comes to you and your siblings than that it goes to the taxman..... Your aunt probably just assumed it would stay in the family and your grandfather and mother would have eventually left it to you anyway.... Whats wrong with you having it now? Just enjoy it. Its not like you don't need it!

Steve said...

We certainly do need it, Justme, the way things are at the moment it could be quite a life saver...

skatey katie said...

lol at Rols Royce
(nothing remotely sensible to add) X

Steve said...

Kate, sometimes that is the most sensible thing of all... ;-)

Daisy said...

what i have done in the past to make some sense of it all...is to do at least one thing in memory of them...even if it is a house repair that desperately needs done...just something so every time i see it or that it helpful i thank that person for looking out for me and my family...it doesn't have to be a lot...just something small that you can remember...

Steve said...

That's a great idea, Daisy, and I may well put it into action. I've got plenty of time to think about it too - the solicitors are still not done. Things are still not finalized!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Well I'm sure you could spend £30 to plant a tree for your auntie or something to assuage your guilt!

At least this is a bit of a silver lining for you both anyway and goodness knows you deserve some financial luck.

Steve said...

Not sure about a tree, Laura, but we are planning some garden and house improvements. At the moment by granddad and my mother have got to put their wishes / directions in writing and then hand it to the solicitors... things move so slowly!

French Fancy said...

Well I haven't read the other comments but my take is this - my parents are both dead but they left me quite well provided for (and no siblings to share it with). Obviously I would rather they were around but as they are not then I'm just going to be pleased they left me some money.

Just as you should be pleased that you will indeed get something unlooked for and necessary at the moment. You just enjoy it and I hope it helps ease those burdens :)

Steve said...

FF: wise words indeed. You are so right. :-)