Saturday, March 14, 2009

"You're Not In The Will"

My dad was having a fit trying to figure out why my aunt and uncle were coming to town so soon, before the funeral was set, and when they knew no one would be willing or able to see them. He expected that they were only interested in Eveline's will, and these suspicions seemed to be confirmed when my uncle requested a copy of the death certificate and the will, for his own "completeness."

Maybe some background to explain the family conflict?

My dad and my aunt, being siblings, are very similar personalities. One difference is that my dad can pull away from a situation (as he did from me recently) enough that re-engagement is a possibility later. My aunt thought she could suck up to Grandma Eveline, ingratiate herself, and be able to get what she wanted that way. (Grandma Eveline was a "queen bee" type, and tried to control both my aunt and my dad, who are both her in-laws. Confused yet?) She ultimately got completely offended by my Gran, who certainly wasn't an angel, but probably didn't warrant such an extreme reaction, and so was born the profound and everlasting rift between my uncle and his mother.

In addition to all this, my aunt and my dad are on terrible terms, especially since my Grandad, Grandma Anne's husband died. Grandma Anne came to live with my dad almost immediately after her husband's death, and has lived with my parents for 12 years. She visits my aunt for holidays, and every Christmas. Grandma Anne tried to take the senior role in my parents' home, berating my mother and generally creating a very tense homelife. In the end, my parents decided to move Grandma Anne out of the main part of the house and into the Granny suite downstairs, which has a separate entrance, nice big windows, a new kitchen, full bath, and a sauna. Grandma Anne was so offended by this that she complained to my aunt, who called my dad threatening legal action if Grandma Anne somehow lost her home during this transition. My dad hasn't had anything to do with my aunt since that conflict, which was two years ago.

My aunt, uncle and Grandma Anne were in their second day of driving to our town when my uncle requested digital copies of the death certificate and will. My mom explained that we didn't have the death certificate yet, and that it wouldn't be appropriate to send a copy of the will, since my uncle wasn't names anywhere on the document. He was neither beneficiary nor executor. At the time, he said that he wasn't surprised, and hadn't expected anything.

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