Thanks, kaylasdad99. We weren’t especially close. My mom didn’t like him very much, for fairly good reasons, so we moved across the country when I was little.
His death is sort of a weird tale, actually. He had been a smoker for years and had only just stopped drinking. He had diabetes for a long time and had recently dropped a lot of weight. So, at 70 years old, he wasn’t in the best of shape, but was well enough to stay in his own house with family close by to check on him.
One day I get a call from a cousin, telling me he had died.
In a house fire.
Apparently, this is what happened:
He fell asleep on the sofa with a lit cigarette. At some point, he moved off the sofa into bed, but the embers kept going. A neighbor walking down the street saw the sofa in flames and called the fire department. They come, get Grandpa out of the house, haul the sofa out into the snow and put it out.
He was fine, if unnerved.
A few hours later, my uncle gets a call from another panicked neighbor. The house is well and truly in flames now. Some embers from the flaming sofa must have sunk into the carpet or the wall where the fire crewed missed them. Grandpa had gone back to sleep in the back bedroom, which was untouched by the flames, but full of smoke. By the time anyone realized what was happening, there was no saving Grandpa.
As for the will: My mom had told me for years that he wrote it such that everything would bypass his own children and go straight to the grandkids. Not a lot of love on this side of the family. When the inheritance check arrived to my mom, she phoned up and casually mentioned it and all the ways she was planning on spending it. Helping me with my credit cards was on the list, but after the $8000 matress and the new computer and some other stuff. Hence, my concern.
But, after talking with my Uncle, who has been dealing with my Grandfather’s estate directly, the will in fact says that everything goes to my Grandfather’s kids, my mom and her siblings, not the grandkids. So, I don’t care much anymore. If she feels like sharing with me, awesome. If she wants to blow it all, her choice.
Good to know that, should she want to share, we don’t have to deal with taxes or phone taps.