Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Winding up the estate

DSC05735 (1400x933)The discussions with the loan agency became more pointed during the past month. When can we take possession of the vehicle, demanded a supervisor, oblivious to the fact that we didn’t yet have ownership.  “Escrow is still in the courts,” I explained. “When we are appointed, I will be sure that you know.”

The Letter of Appointment finally came through in a few weeks ago, clearing the way for the last portions of William’s estate to be  cleared.  Bank accounts, vehicle sale, insurance claims all needed attention that could not be done from Europe.  So I coupled an investor meeting to a side trip to Boulder, hoping to sell the Jeep for enough to clear the loan.

DSC05743 (916x1400)The loan company preferred to auction, assuring me that bids were likely to cover the outstanding amount.  Book value should be much higher though, worth one try at selling it outright. 

The car was where I left it, sitting on a pad in the storage yard.  Someone had winged a pellet through the windshield, a cell in the battery had burst, but otherwise it weathered the four months well.  I drove over to the detail shop to get the exterior shined and the dog hair out of the interior: Puddle did a fantastic job.  Two stops gained bits that were half-again as much as the loan company offered, more than double the outstanding amount, and I was able to close the transaction the same day.

‘less luck with the bank accounts.  The checking and savings had been drained by the bank, acting in their own self-interest to pay off a credit card ahead of other claims on the asset.  It’s perfectly legal, but deeply irritating.  Unapologetic, their only question was whether we would pay the rest of his balance or if they should sue us.

DSC05746 (1400x933)I’m finding that institutions are a lot like individuals in these circumstances.  Some are compassionate of the situation and appreciative of efforts to keep them informed and to make things right.  The insurance company, one loan officer, and the auto dealer all behaved wonderfully.  Others, the banks and auditors, just want to clear their books by any means possible and deal with us as little as they can.  Like folks who send condolences by text or cross the street to avoid conversation, they make things worse.

DSC05741 (1400x929)I feel like we’re nearing the end of the process, but that I’m erasing the evidence of William’s life one bit at a time, and, worse, at a profit.

Soon there will be nothing left.  I will have assured that the marks that he made in life will disappear as surely as those that he might have contributed but never will exist. 

It’s not what I ever wanted to have to do.

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