This morning I had an interview with a city organization that I had been hoping would be able to guide me in the right direction to find counselling for the kids to help them deal with the fallout from Paul’s departure. It wasn’t totally successful, but it wasn’t a write off either. She did give me the names of two other organizations that might be able to help. Julie had called this morning asking if I wanted her to go with me, and up till she suggested it, I hadn’t considered that it might be easier to have two sets of ears. I’m getting used to do it on my own. So I agreed, and she came along.
While I was in the meeting, the police phoned on my cell – it kind of scares me that they have a record on me which includes my place of employment and cell phone number! I assume it’s part of the regular criminal record check conducted by Sharps. When he couldn’t reach me at home, he had phoned Sharps to confirm that the cell number he had was my current one, and they, bless them, refused to confirm it until they had returned his call to the police station and been put through to him to ascertain that he was who he said he was! He apologized to me for involving my place of employment, but assured me he had informed them that his interest in me was due to a death in the family. Nonetheless, I phoned them when I got home to let them know what had happened.
His purpose in calling was to inform me that the autopsy set for this morning has been postponed till tomorrow morning, and that I could contact the funeral home of my choice, who would then make arrangements to pick her up. So when I got home I called McCleisters. The obvious choice, I guess, since they handled my dad’s arrangements, and those of both Paul’s mom and dad. I wasn’t happy with what I heard. I have to pay up front the immediate disbursements, which seem to total just over $500, which I do not have and cannot get. In order for them to be paid out of my mom’s estate (bank account) I need a will proclaiming me executor, so I can authorize disbursement of the funds for funeral expenses. In the absence of a will, I must have a lawyer file an application of um…something or other, which will essentially give me the same rights as an executor. And how am I supposed to pay a lawyer if I cannot even pay the funeral home?
So it seems that I am forced to go after my mom’s estate after all, though I had truly not wanted to. Apparently what I have to do is retain a lawyer and once the estate is settled, he will be paid out of the estate. Fine. So assuming he doesn’t ask for money up front, this may take a while to sort out, but it can be done.
One other minor problem….the funeral home needed my mom’s SIN. Which meant I had to go into her house to find either a SIN card, or some other document, like a tax return, that would have it on it. Go into the house. Yeah. Like I want to do that. And the funeral director suggested I could hunt for a will while I was at it. The proverbial needle in the haystack. What to do? I knew this was going to be ugly and I didn’t have the strength to face it alone. Luckily I am blessed to have the most amazing friend in the world, so I called Julie. Within minutes (well, 25 of them) she was at the door to pick me up. Michael stopped by Home Hardware for a box of face masks and rubber gloves, and Julie had Vicks ointment to put under our noses to ease the smell. Yes, my mother’s house is this bad.
The three of us worked for just over an hour. We decided we weren’t going to touch anything twice, so anything we looked at, lifted or moved was going to be dealt with right away – either in a garbage bag or in a pile to be taken home for further consideration. Most of it went in the garbage. But we were successful, to a degree. We found bankbooks, the most current one with a staggering (to me) balance, her bank debit card, her drivers license, Health card, birth certificate, vehicle ownership, a ton of stock certificates and finally, the elusive SIN card! We threw a bunch of papers into a bag to come home, and Michael put our four bags of garbage into his truck to be disposed of later. There is still a staggering amount of paper and other stuff to go through though, so this is going to take a very long time.
I also removed one of her dresser drawers (the one I thought most likely to contain a will!) to bring home to sort, and Brianna and I worked on that tonight. I found copies of her marriage certificate, which might be useful. I also learned that my mother was a very intelligent and talented woman, judging by the many certificates we found and the letters of recommendation. We did not find a will. However, I did find an envelope from the CIBC containing what appears to be a safety deposit box key….I assume I’m going to need to prove I’m the executor or whatever before I can access that! Which could prove to be a certain irony – if the box contains a will.
Tomorrow I meet with the funeral director – SIN card in hand, lol – and sort out what will be done. I wonder what he’s going to think of my choices?