I am thinking that this is one possible summation of my sister-in-law, Rosanne.
I refrain from writing about estate stuff. I really do! I could blast this post with all sorts of unbelievable scenarios and tales of unfathomable behaviour. I kid you not.
I'll bet the few that follow my post thought that it was all resolved by now and we had moved on.
The latest is that Rosanne started this thing called a 'construction proceeding'. A portion of the items that are missing from the personal property are items that were in Audrey's (my deceased mother-in-law) dining room. We have pictures and clear documentation that these things were in the dining room. Rosanne's response to these certain items is that Audrey had bequeathed them to her and that she took them.
Audrey had bequeathed Michael a hutch and a bench from the dining room and clearly stated that Rosanne was to receive "all the remaining dining room furniture". Rosanne claimed that all the paintings, prints, lamps, sculpture, silver flatware, etc... was furniture and so she took it. Everything.
We disagreed with her and so she started this construction proceeding to have the judge determine if dining room furniture was 'everything' or just really dining room furniture.
Rosanne starts this proceeding and before the judge determines a ruling she accompanies her daughter to Italy on her daughter's semester abroad.
The ruling comes in.
The judge determines that dining room furniture is really dining room furniture and Rosanne has to return to the estate all the items that she took out of the dining room.
It took our lawyer 4 weeks to get a call back from Rosanne's lawyer.
It took another 2 weeks for Rosanne's lawyer to get in touch with Rosanne.
Rosanne's lawyer gets in touch with our lawyer and says that Rosanne is in rural Italy (and this is the first time that the beneficiaries have been informed that Rosanne is not around and she is in Italy) and that she took all the items from the dining room and put them into a storage unit where they are safe. Our lawyer and her lawyer agree that Rosanne must have made an inventory of these items before she put them into storage and left the country. "Oh, yes, there must be in inventory. It is the job of the executrix to do things like that."
Our lawyer wants that inventory so that we can get the ball rolling on this end. He feels that we can start comparing her inventory to what we know was in the dining room. Maybe we can come up with some solutions via emails how the siblings are going to go about the task of dividing this stuff up.
You know what Rosanne's response to the inventory question is?
I myself am sitting her laughing in amazement.
The hutspa of this woman is...is...is...I have now words.
Her response is...She made no inventory, and when she gets back in June she will make a list or photograph these items and then send this stuff off to auction.
Not only is there so much personal property missing from the estate...
Rosanne cherry picked the items that she wanted and set them aside never letting her brother's have any opportunity to have any say in whether they would like such item...
Rosanne under duress (and only because the brother's retained a lawyer) had to allow her brother's access to the personal property and put post-its on items that they wanted. These were only the items that they were allowed to view (minus the missing items and minus what she had set aside for herself)...
Rosanne then went about the task of equally dividing up these items. She proceeded to give herself most of the items that her brothers had post-its on and gave her brothers items that they did not want...
And now the items that she can not keep she is willing to send off to auction (at the expense of the estate) so that her brothers can't have them. My take on this is that she feels if she can't have any of these items she'll be damned if they can.
I'm on a roll.
This is why I don't post about estate stuff very often because it is all so wacko and crazy making. And who knows if Rosanne knows about this post and reads it. Mostly I refrain because I don't want stuff to come back and bite me in the butt.
As my dear friend Lance once said to me, "Duck and roll, Victoria, duck and roll".
Wise words from a good friend.