For those who don't follow me on Twitter (and for heaven's sake, why NOT? I alternately bore you and stress you!), here is a recap of what happened:
Paul's Mother: *dies*
Paul's sister Beth: Awesome, I'll keep living in the Mother's 3-bedroom house, but now I don't have to pay her rent anymore! Also, I'll keep her 2-year-old Camry, because in addition to having my roommates kick me out, I never bought a car!
(A year goes by.)
Paul: Hey, Beth, the lawyer says it's time to figure out how to divide the estate!
Beth: Okay! How about I keep the house but you take out a mortgage with me to pay for the repairs?
Swistle: *reads appraisal* *realizes repairs will FAR EXCEED value of house* *panics*
Paul: Wait. How about you keep the house and the car and I keep the stocks and cash? My half will be much less, but I'd like you to have what you need.
Beth: But it would be beneficial for me to keep the house and also the stocks and also the cash, plus have you paying for half the repairs on the house, even though those repairs will cost more than the value of the house. You'll get half the selling price of the house, but we won't sell it until I die! Plus, you can get a really good rate on a mortgage right now!
Paul: We're not co-owning the house. Either you take it as part of your half of the estate, or we sell it.
Beth: Okay, fine, I'll pay the taxes, because I'm sure that's your issue with co-owning the house, and we'll co-own the house, and you'll pay half the repairs but get no benefit. Also, I'll keep the stocks, because those would be beneficial for me in my retirement. Also, don't worry, we'll use the cash from the estate to pay to make the house better for me, so you can wait to take out that mortgage!
Paul: I realize it would be beneficial for you to have half the stocks AND live in the house I'm half-paying for, but that's would not be in ANY WAY "beneficial" for ME, dumbass.
Swistle: *realizes sister-in-law is out of her head, and that a lawyer will probably need to be involved*
Beth: Okay! I'm suddenly and inexplicably being reasonable! I'll take the house and the car as my half!
Paul's interpretation of these inexplicable events: She wasn't DELIBERATELY cheesing us, she just hadn't thought it through! But now she has!
Swistle's interpretation: She is THIRTY-FOUR. She is able to comprehend these things. So either this is a trap (eg., she found gold buried in the back yard, or discovered the crazily low appraisal (($25,000 for house and property)) was dramatically wrong), or there is something unpleasant coming (eg., it will turn out she still thinks she gets the estate cash to repair the house and/or that we'll pay for future repairs), or she vented to someone who said to her "ARE YOU NUTS??," or she's had a stroke, or she thought there was no harm in TRYING to get the entire inheritance but backed off as soon as Paul showed backbone.
In any case, it's not over until the estate is settled. I'm not counting ANY chickens.
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