Hello every One and welcome to the Super Natural ‘Son’ Day Edition, thank King Your Royal Highness for being here, it is always a Pleasure to have You in My House. Typically, the Good News Journal ‘Son’ Day Edition is a recap of the most eventful moments of the week in both My Microcosm and Man’s Macrocosm. This week the ‘Son’ Day Play on Words is particularly fitting because once again We have been dealing with Matters regarding My (earthly) father’s Estate and have some new and exciting developments. I feel this is also an important ‘Son’ day review because I have made a lot of mistakes with respect to My father’s Estate and the Purpose of this Blog is both to lead by example (#BetheChange) and to learn from My mistakes. In fact, I believe there is a proverb or expression that goes something like,
“The only mistake is a lesson not learnt.”Proverb
Over Christ Mass I basically resolved that I Will not let anything come between My family relay-Sean’s and see if there is anything I can do to improve relay-Sean’s with My Sister in particular. It really is ridiculous that there should be any bad blood between Us at all because We hardly ever see each other.
With respect to trying to take care of an Estate where three People share a beneficial interest, it is the perfect ‘purging’ opportunity for a family. In the beginning, despite Our differences, things were getting done. My Brother took care of all the urgent unpleasant details like identifying the body, making arrangements for cremation, looking for a Will, calling People… My Sister was taking care of paperwork type stuff and I don’t know what exactly because it was never disclosed to Me. I Wish to emphasize this because this is what was going on for the first several months and I really was being told very little, despite insisting that I have a right to full disclosure of all details regarding the Estate.
Don’t get Me wrong, either, there had already been some serious disagreements but things were getting done. This really is only relevant when One dies without a legal Will but the reason I’m emphasizing this is because no One had to be appointed by a Court to do any of these things. It might not have been sunshine and daisies but We were collectively doing what We were expected to do, We were fulfilling Our moral obligations.
The ‘state’ (at least in Canada, it is NOT the same for many US states which refer to themselves as ‘Common Law’ states, but I’ll discuss another time) automatically presumes that if a spouse is surviving, they Will take care of the Estate as the Trustee and Executor (but are not considered to have a Beneficial interest in the Estate) and are responsible for protecting the Estate for the intended beneficiaries (children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews). If there is no surviving spouse, the next of kin (who Will also be the eldest) is presumed to Hold the same position, even though they have a Beneficial interest in the Estate as well, their Duty is to the Estate and it’s other Beneficiaries first. This amplifies the moral incentive for the eldest child because it is a big responsibility and they Will also accept liability to the beneficiaries if they fail in their Fiduciary obligations (that’s what the Bond is for with the Application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee). Therefor, as the eldest child, protecting the best interest of the Beneficiaries is also protecting their own interests which helps to hold them accountable and diligent in their duties to protect the overall assets, and not approve any frivolous spending.
When lawyers got involved, it was like pouring gasoline on a fire. United, Me, My Brother, and My Sister are an impermeable Holy Trinity of defense against My father’s Estate. Together, We were collectively executing the Estate, no defined or declared position of authority, We were all war King together. The moment One seizes absolute right of authority over that position, is the moment the Holy Trinity becomes pervious to attack. Even if the intentions are Truly noble, that much Power can go to One’s head and in fragile family relations, it is bound to ignite every spark of insecurity and doubt. And the lawyers did this on purpose because the Courts want Your business.
I’m sharing this to point out that I know this is what lawyers do and I STILL didn’t recognize what they were doing to My family and more importantly, how I allowed that to impact how I responded to My family in the face of it all. The Truth is it would not have changed the outcome, only how We all responded to it. I did Give conditional acceptance of My Sister’s application and Present it to her lawyer approving My Sister’s application on the condition that legal fees not be paid by the Estate. Even with the very best intentions and expectations of My Sister, that is the best I would ever have been able to provide by Way of My own conscience. My Sister’s ‘lawyer’ refused to accept it – only the lawyer’s unconditional acceptance of My Sister’s application was Good enough. Even when I discussed this point in more detail with My Brother he said that if he’d known that was the condition he would have offered to pay just to keep the peace. But in all Good conscience, I couldn’t let someone steal money from Us – the fact My Brother would have paid those fees him Self just Shows how much collective interest there is in preserving every One’s interests.
My Sister’s lawyer not accepting My conditional consent to her application because of legal fees should have been a much bigger clue for Me than it was. The Courts are a service. Only for dis-Honourable People. She can’t Sign on those conditions because she’s counting on getting paid from the Estate, that’s the condition of her legal representation of My Sister. Consider how sketchy that makes My Sister’s lawyer look? Also consider what effect this would immediately have on My Sister’s relationship with the lawyer. My Sister would very quickly become much more critical of every hour she’s being billed. But what did I do? I took this out on My Sister. My Sister tells Me I’m breaking My Word by not Signing, I tell My Sister her lawyer is lying and refused to accept My approval of her application, We both get furious because We just presume the other is lying. It really would have been as simple as sending My Signed, conditional acceptance of her application to her without ever arguing about anything – let her Give it to her own ‘lawyer’ to refuse to accept.
The irony is, this is just part of the administration of an Estate. I believed I held the Supreme Claim of Right upon My father’s Estate long before any disputes ever took place, I was not exerting My authority over My Brother and Sister even though I made My belief in that right known to them. I had no intention of interfering unless something needed My attention. I believed My Brother and Sister were perfectly capable and that they would be fair in the distribution of assets whenever it got to that point. I didn’t think there was any need for Courts because My Sister is pretty Good at accounting type stuff and My Brother is a Real Estate agent. What would they need a Court for? My Sister’s application was the first detail regarding My father’s Estate that required My attention and consent, and it’s a requisition to relinquish the position I already have by default.
The point to this Post is to say that I really don’t know if there is a Truly ‘amicable’ Way to deal with this type of Estate situation when there is no legal Will, the only advice I have is to be as gentle with One’s family as they possibly can be. I was not gentle with My family by any means, but I was looking out for Our best interest collectively and Will even go as far as to say that I believe I allowed that belief to justify My Actions at the time. There is no excuse and patience is a Virtue I Will be forever war King on.
The other ‘Good News’ I Wish to share with You is that Idea of the Holy Trinity and the Family Unit. The fact is, the Courts do presume that the individuals next in line of succession are the legitimate heirs to an Estate and responsible for the Fiduciary obligations to the Beneficiaries of the deceased, and representing the deceased against any legal action. The dead Man needs an attorney to defend him Self.
Only One of the beneficiaries can hold the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee if it is awarded by a Court, but the family can do all of these things together without any interference with Courts or lawyers at all, so long as every One can get along. However, the One with the highest right of entitlement can refuse to relinquish that position if they believe it is in the best interest of the Beneficiaries to maintain it. This is also one of those situations where I should have handled the situation infinitely better than I did, but it was necessary to protect My Brother and Sister’s interests and regardless how kind or gentle I would have Wished to be about it, nothing would have changed how it was perceived.
All I was able to do is apologize to My Brother and Sister and try to assure them that I did everything to protect all of Our interests – sometimes the best Way for Me to do that is to pretend it is all My responsibility so that I can put whatever I need to do out of My Mind for the greater Good (hoping My Brother and Sister Will forgive Me later for doing what I believed to be right in the moment).
Having said ALL of that, it is in no Way any excuse for not being gentle and kind with My Words to My family. There are silent, patient ways to assert One’s self that are far less destructive and take much less time to heal. Did You know that the profession of lawyering was once referred to as ‘devilling’? True story, look it up!
Love and Blessings,