Thursday, August 26, 2010
Mom and Dad Still Dead but Remarried
The good news is that Mom and Dad are married again. The bad news is that the correction was made, not with the help of the people at the Smallville County Courthouse when we told them in person their record was wrong and who responded by looking at us as if they were cast members of the original Night of the Living Dead. No, the correction was made by one of the few remaining live people in Smallville (and he may be living in India): the IT department of Smallville County responded to the correction my sister made On Line.
Whew. Now if we could just make our rental slums, I mean homes, in Smallville disappear as easily as that technical error on our parents' marriage license that had my father marrying my fourteen-year-old Aunt Ruth (who was a witness) instead of Aunt Ruth's sister, my mother (who was the bride) my sister and I could go to our graves happy women.
Going to our graves sooner rather than later is beginning to look better and better. At least to me.
But I have to clarify all my beneficiaries before I go go go.
Speaking of beneficiaries:
My father had about $80,000 of deferred compensation set aside by the City of Palo Alto when he retired, and in those days the money was invested with Golden West. By the time he died, thirty-five years later at the age of ninety, there was $1848.66 in his deferred comp fund (known as a "457 plan") and it was/is with Nationwide Retirement Solutions. My sister and I have applied for it repeatedly, and Nationwide has given us a long list of excuses as to why they cannot send to his heirs this money he earned.
I had filled out their beneficiary form five times--and had it rejected five times--before I Googled "Nationwide 457 Scam" (just a hunch, mind you, but it was a good one!) and read various articles about how these Nationwide 457 funds have been used all over the U.S. (Alabama was mentioned several times) for all kinds of golf tournaments, wine tastings and kickbacks.
The list of things that would have mortified my father--the misuse of his 457 funds, the con man/manager who turned his two rental houses into slums, and the sad news that the daughter he was convinced would immediately buy a Porsche when he died being forced to use her inheritance to instead re roof a slummy Smallville garage--gets longer every day. But the word mortify actually describes what happens to your body after you are dead, so I guess Dad is okay after all. Beyond all this. Zoomed way past the mortification stage.
It is the living who must clean up the mess.
List of things to do:
1. Don't Defer any Comp. If someone is to misuse your money it might as well be you.
2. Don't buy rental homes one thousand miles away.
3. Don't turn rental homes one thousand miles away over to Bernie Madoff's cousin.
4. Don't waste money on will. Nobody pays attention to a will, especially after you die.
5. Leave house clean-up and paperwork to heirs.
6. Check marriage license carefully if ever marry again. (Possibly marry in India where all IT experts reside?)
7. Don't marry again.
8. Change name and take 'round the world cruise.
9. Leave remaining estate paperwork to Sis.
10. Figure out how to "take it with you."
11. Buy Porsche. Dad expected it!