As you may remember, my mother’s husband (Turkka) died on New Year’s Eve. Now the hands are out.
One of Turk’s brothers (oh… let’s call him “Erikki”) Sent my mom a letter recently asking for “his share” of his brother’s estate. When my mom and her Turk made out their trusts, Turk specifically stated that the only recipients of his estate would be specifically enumerated in the Trust. To wit: If he died first, my mom would get everything. (My mother’s trust is the same. If she had died first, then Turk would have gotten everything. Upon the death of the survivor, my sister and I would inherit the entire estate.) This is how the trust is written. No one has any claim to the estate except for my mother (and later, me and my sister). In short, “Erikki” gets nothing.
“Erikki” should have an “L” tattoed on his forehead. Alcoholic, ever in legal difficulties, defrauding Social Security, &c., &c. Turk had said that he would “help him out, but never give him a hand-out”. Turk was very hurt when, after travelling 2,000 miles to the East Coast, “Erikki” would not drive 50 miles to meet them for a free brunch. Money sent to “Erikki”'s sons in their Christmas and birthday cards was taken out by “Erikki”. The mother said the cards always arrived opened. Turk basically wrote “Erikki” out of his life.
The other brother (let’s call him “Markku”), who lives in the same area as my mom and Turk, disappeared for a week a year ago February and turned up in a hospital with one sock too many. Diabetes had claimed a leg below the knee. “Markku” was happy because he would “get $1,200 a month from Social Security and would never have to work again”. Um… nope. Even a leg-minus, he has less of a limp than I do. He’s perfectly able to find employment if he wants to.
“Markku” doesn’t want to work. His last job was moving sheet metal in a mill. Obviously, he probably can’t do that anymore. Before that, he was a draughtsman. He says he can’t stand for eight hours, so he’s unable to get a job that requires it; but a draughtsman can sit. Nope. Draughting is done on computers nowadays, and he can only use a pencil and straightedge. He did turn up for two classes a few years ago, to learn how to use CAD. When my mom and Turk were having brunch with him, the instructor happened by. “Why haven’t you come back to class?” he asked. “Everyone is young, and [mumble mumble mumble]. And I’m just not ‘getting it’.” “Well,” said the instructor, “Just come to class early and I’ll help you.” “Oh, yeah; I can do that.” Do I need to say that he never went back?
“Markku” lives in a trailer. His neighbours come to his place because they don’t work either and their gas has been shut off. They go to get a hot shower. And they don’t have cable, so they bring beer and hang out. “Trailer trash”, anyone? “Markku” got a grant from Welfare, and was disappointed to learn that it was a one-time thing. No money coming in. He’s been “borrowing” money from people, and telling them that he’s "coming into an inheritance from his “rich brother” – who left 1/3 of the estate to him, 1/3 to “Erikki”, and 1/3 to my mom. (How generous, allowing 1/3 to my mom!) He knows he’s getting nothing. Now he’s about to be evicted from his trailer. Turk gave him several suggestions for jobs he might take – before and after “Markku” lost his leg. Of course, “Markku” made excuses as to why he could not get any sort of job. The man just wants to sit on his arse all day, watching sports and drinking beer.
“Markku”'s live-in girlfriend talked to my mom on the phone and the first thing she said was, “I’m beautiful, artistic, creative, and have a background in law-enforcement.” As if this would somehow intimidate my mom into forking over $1,000. Then she graciously said that they’d pay it back. My mom wondered how she would pay it back if she didn’t have a job. (She claims to be suffering from pancreatitis and can’t work. My mom says she should stop drinking.) My mom told “Markku” she doesn’t want to talk to him anymore.
Look. My mom isn’t rich. She owns the house she and my dad bought in San Diego. If she were to sell it, she’d get a bundle. But she’s letting it out for some much needed income. She has to use some of the money for repairs (the house is about 40 years old), and she hurts when there are no tenants. She’s been in her new house for not much more than a year, so there’s not a lot of equity. They had to move out of California because they couldn’t afford to live there! And yet, she’s the greedy widow who’s sitting on a pile of gold a meter high. :rolleyes:
I’ve had some disappointments in my life. I counted upon being a Naval Aviator my whole life, until I wrecked my knees in high school; to name one example. I picked myself up and did something else. (And learned to fly without government assistance.) When I lost my (very good) job, I was unemployed for five months. I’m employed now, and making half what I used to. But I took the job. Of course I need the income; but the other thing is that sitting around the house was driving me insane! I can’t stand not having somewhere to be, where I’m performing a useful function. How anyone can like sitting around all day, every day, watching TV and drinking beer is beyond me. Working is not only about the money (obviously, since I consider myself underemployed), but about the feeling that I’m a productive part of society. If I won the world’s biggest lottery, I would still work. Sure, it would probably be in a money-losing operation like helicopter flight training or filmmaking; but I’d be doing something. I don’t understand how people could want to collect “free money from the governent” and do nothing.
Need Universal Health Care? I’m fine with my taxes being spent on it. Need job retraining? By all means, let my meagre tax contribution go toward it. But don’t pay people who are able to work, and for whom there are jobs available if they’d only apply, if they “just don’t want to” find employment.
“Erikki” and “Markku”, you’re losers. Get off of your arses and do something. You’re not “entitled” to an inheritance. Your brother made a conscious decision, based upon your past actions, to exclude you from his will. He said as much in a legally-binding document. Get over it.