November 8, 2010

Ah HA!

I THINK I have solved The Puzzle of the Capitulating Sister-in-Law. You remember that she was all "Hey, my plan for splitting the estate is that I will take the house, the car, the money (to fix the house), and the stocks (for my retirement), and YOUR share will be that you get to pay half for all future house repairs, decade after decade, and if you're lucky I'll die before you and you'll get back some of the money you sank into the money pit!" And we were all, "Uh, no, we're not taking out a mortgage to pay for what would be your house," and she was all "SIGH FINE I will also pay the property taxes GEEZ, NOW are you happy?!" And then we were like, okay, one more email before we consult a lawyer, and, "Hey, how about we split everything 50-50 but the house is in your half and we don't pay any repairs?" and she said "Okay, sure!" And we were all "....???"

The theories for this sudden capitulation included:


1. She was operating on the "Can't hurt to ask for what I want!" principle, and backed down when Paul declined.

2. She complained to a friend about the situation and the friend said, "Are you NUTS???"

3. She had a sudden flash of awareness and insight.

4. She had a stroke.

5. The spirit of my late mother-in-law left her body.

6. She went back on her meds.

7. She found gold coins in the back yard or made some other discovery about the $25,000 house being actually worth much, much more---or had an offer on the house for much, much more.

8. She has a wily plan.

9. She has failed to understand our counteroffer and thinks we agreed to her plan.

10. It's a trap.

11. She reads my blog.


But now we have more information, and I THINK I know what happened. This whole issue started, if you recall, or rather if I told you so you CAN recall, because the lawyer handling the estate wrote to Paul and Paul's sister, saying "Time to let me know what you're doing about the house." And Paul kept waiting several days between emails to his sister. And when, after his sister unexpectedly capitulated, Paul contacted the lawyer to say, "Okay, here's how we're dividing things up," the lawyer sent back a letter saying that we should be aware that in this situation where there is no will, the court will insist that the estate is divided 50-50 TO THE PENNY, and that the court will need to grant separate permissions for each item that will be kept rather than sold, because cash is so much easier to divide.

So first of all, here is my theory: that AFTER Paul's sister emailed us with her plan, but BEFORE Paul emailed back to say "FORGET IT SISTER," Paul's sister emailed the lawyer to tell him the plan she assumed we were accepting. And the lawyer told her about the 50-50 thing. And so then when Paul said forget it, she had already been forced to abandon her plan.

And second of all, this is AWESOME. The court is MAKING SURE.

And third of all, couldn't the lawyer have mentioned this EARLIER, BEFORE I ground my molars into flour?

22 comments:

Groovymarlin said...

I bet you're right. But I was thinking about your situation last night, and the first thing that occurred to me was, "Well, the MIL was a real piece of work, why wouldn't the SIL be as well?"

(Yes, I think about Swistle's problems when I'm doing my laundry. This is not at all stalker-ish.)

Anyway, I'd like to take credit for the "back on her meds" theory but I"m sure lots of other people suggested it as well. In any case, I'm just happy it's all going to work out in the end.

-R- said...

That makes so much sense! And yes, I wish the lawyer had told you about the 50/50 thing right away.

Mama Bub said...

You know, that 50/50 information should have been in the lawyer's FIRST email. Still, AWESOME.

Christy said...

I was actually thinking, "maybe SIL somehow stumbled on this blog" You know, with some search term like, 'how to get brother to agree to give me an entire estate and pay for my upkeep'

Jen said...

I just want this whole thing sorted out so that I can stop stressing about it. I've got knots in my back from the tension in this situation, that's how much it's bothering me! (There is a slight possibility that I am mildly neurotic.)

PS, my word verification is "testes". I am not kidding.

Sam said...

Dude. Please just have your mother mumbo jumbo your SIL so she um...passes. Because the situation is makin my tummy hurt. GAH! I need to get a life.

Bell said...

Yay!

Nicole said...

Aha! That makes sense.

d e v a n said...

That does make sense. No matter what it was - YAY!

Joanne said...

Oh, those poor molars! My son is a teeth grinder and that is just what I picture, opening his mouth one day and finding just dust. ANYWAYS, I am glad it worked out, and I don't care WHY. I love when the law is on my side.

juliloquy said...

This story has been a fascinating read (so sorry about the molars). I'm so glad for you that it seems to have turned around!

SIL Anna said...

Such a relief. I feel like saying congratulations. !

wisdomandpeace said...

So glad for you that equity and fairness have prevailed! But you are right, it would have been nice if the lawyer had pointed out the 50/50 thing when he asked how you were doing with the house!

wisdomandpeace said...

Oh and one more thing: if you're right and the fact that SIL backed down was because the lawyer informed her of the 50/50 requirement, then it PROVES that she knew that her arrangement WAS NOT a 50/50 split. So she's not clueless or crazy or really bad at math: she knew she was offering Paul the short end of the stick but apparently, did it anyway.

GratefulTwinMom said...

This is one of those times when you can say, "Thank GOD for the lawyers." Isn't that what law was supposed to be about in the first place? To keep things fair? Not to try to get what you want. Nice sleuthing, Swistle.

JEN said...

verrrryyyyy interesting, don't you think?

Curious - did Paul have a close relationship with her prior to this? Did she have a close relationship with the MIL?

Anonymous said...

I am just sorry I didn't "know" you back when you were blogging about your MIL.

But glad this is taken care of (or will be, soon).

Swistle said...

JEN- No, and I don't think so. I get the feeling none of the members of this family LIKE each other AT ALL. (Goodness, I WONDER WHY?)

Alice said...

OH MY GOODNESS. i missed the past few posts until just now, and OH MY GOODNESS. this is.. quite a turn of events. SHOCKING! i mean, completely awesome. do you feel like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop? i feel a bit that way and it's not even my situation.

Alice said...

OH MY GOODNESS. i missed the past few posts until just now, and OH MY GOODNESS. this is.. quite a turn of events. SHOCKING! i mean, completely awesome. do you feel like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop? i feel a bit that way and it's not even my situation.

Lippy said...

I haven't even been able to comment on these threads because it upset me too much. I am so so so glad the court handles it, seriously this sort of thing upsets me. I hate it when people are unreasonable. So yay courts and lawyers and laws!

Julie said...

Ah ha, indeed! Now I'm a bit of a control freak, but sometimes there's nothing better than having your decisions made for you--especially those ones that leave us with a mouth full of sand.