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Archive for June, 2021

Back at home - for now

June 24th, 2021 at 11:22 pm

I left Florida on Monday and got home Tuesday evening, 4 weeks to the day that I left. I definitely feel like I accomplished a lot while I was there, but the job isn't 100% done. The plan now is for my wife and I to fly down probably right after July 4th, pack up what remains, and rent a truck to drive home with everything that we're keeping (much of which will ultimately get sold on ebay).

I need to speak with the realtor and get his opinion on what furniture can remain. He did say that he likes there to be some furniture rather than the house being totally empty as it shows better that way. I also want to ask him if he thinks we need to replace any carpet or do any other touch up stuff to the house. I'm not going to do any major work. The last step will be to hire a cleaning service to come in and thoroughly clean top to bottom, floor to ceiling.

I'm estimating we'll need 3 days to get everything packed and cleared out. A bunch more stuff will need to go to the thrift shop. I just couldn't donate it while I was there because I was still using it (dishes, toaster oven, cookware, etc.).

I'm still waiting on the probate stuff from the court. My lawyer warned me that all 3 judges in the county are new and don't know what they're doing so the process will take longer than normal. They already denied a request and said they had to get a copy of my license to prove I'm over 25. The lawyer said that was the most bizarre denial he's ever seen. Hopefully they won't come up with some other outlandish requests to further dealy the process.

The Wells Fargo accounts did transfer to Vanguard so that's done. Once I have the court stuff, I can work on transferring non-retirement accounts (checking, savings, stocks). I can also actually take over insurance policies, the car loan, the homeowner's association, etc. Right now I'm kind of in limbo with all of the legal stuff.

First big installment of inheritance

June 14th, 2021 at 11:50 pm

Not that this was unexpected but as of close of business today, my late cousin's main IRA has been transferred into my account: $433,656.00. The money was already effectively mine but actually having it in my name is one more step in the process.

His Roth hasn't transferred yet. I'm guessing that will happen tomorrow as it's with the same firm (Wells Fargo). He also had much smaller traditional and Roth IRAs with Vanguard which should be in the process of transferring as I spoke to them a couple of days ago.

The final step will be moving the Wells Fargo money over to Vanguard. I already have the new accounts set up so once everything is in my name, I can have Vanguard start that process.

In the meantime, I asked the account manager to liquidate the money within the IRA to go to all cash. It's currently in a ridiculous portfolio of 22 mutual funds which is what you get when you pay a "professional" to handle your affairs - high complexity and high expenses. I will be greatly simplifying that and almost certainly outperforming it as well.

Next chapter of the estate saga

June 13th, 2021 at 12:30 am

I just reread my post from last week saying I was pretty much done with the "debulking" of stuff. Boy was I wrong. A week later and I've put out 3 more bins of paper for recyling and taken 2 carloads of stuff to the thrift shop. I've sold multiple items on Marketplace and have a couple listed on ebay. I have several more that I'll probably list tomorrow. I keep unearthing more stuff. It seems to go in layers - get one layer cleared and discover there's another layer behind it. Just tonight I found that a large box that I thought only held packing material and bubble wrap also contained a nice barstool which will go on Marketplace tomorrow.

The really big news is that I sold the Corvette! My lawyer put me in touch with somebody he has worked with before and not only did they end up buying it but they paid me my full asking price of 45K! Note that that occurred less than 8 hours after some bozo offered me 20K for the car (which I flat out turned down). Selling the Vette was the thing I was most stressed about with the entire estate.

All of the court papers have been filed so I should have the official order naming me executor soon. I need that to take care of the financial stuff and start closing accounts and transferring funds into my own name.

I have started putting myself in as the contact person for the utility bills so that nothing gets missed and everything gets paid on time. There was a minor issue with the most recent electric bill because it was on autopay but the account had gotten frozen before the bill got paid so the payment got rejected. They charged a $30 fee but I called today and got them to waive it and switched the account to our bank so there won't be any more issues.

I need to call a realtor to get an opinion of value on the house to establish my cost basis. The lawyer recommended someone so I'll call him on Monday or Tuesday.

More to come.

Update on settling my cousin's affairs

June 6th, 2021 at 02:05 am

I realized I haven't made a post since I arrived in Florida. I did leave a week ago Tuesday and arrived Wednesday evening. I had a nice drive down and even got to detour in North Carolina to visit my cousins who just moved there a couple weeks earlier from Connecticut. I got to see their new house and have dinner with them.

Since arriving, I've been working every day to clean out the house. I've taken out 7 or 8 bags of trash, about 6 bins of paper for recycling, and packed 10 cartons of documents to be shredded. I've also sold his tool chest, tool boxes, and most of the tools, a mini bike, and just tonight sold his floor jack on Marketplace. Oh and I've taken half a dozen boxes of stuff to the thrift shop along with 6 garbage bags of clothing plus several suits and some assorted loose items.

I think I'm pretty much done with the debulking. I've been through every drawer, cabinet, closet, and file. Although it's been time consuming, that was the relatively easy part as it didn't involve too much in the way of personal or sentimental stuff.

Now I'm getting to the harder part with the more personal items. A lot of that will end up being transported home with me. There are a bunch of things that need to either be sold or donated. I'm sure I'll do a mix of both. I'll need to decide what to do with furniture - sell or donate. I'll probably at least try to sell some of it and if I don't get any bites fairly quickly, I'll give it away. There is a large local thrift shop that will pick it up.

I'm not sure how long I'm staying. I finally got the death certificate on Friday and have an appointment with the lawyer on Monday to start the probate process. I'm not sure all that's involved with that or whether or not I need to physically be here to do anything.

There are 2 cars, one antique and one regular, that need to be sold. I've been doing some word of mouth advertising for the antique but if nothing comes of it in the next couple of days, I need to actually start listing that at a few sites. The regular car will be no problem as I'll probably go to Carmax, Carvana, and the dealership and take the highest offer. I don't want to get rid of the car until we're pretty much done as we may need it to get around if I drive home and fly back.

I guess that pretty much sums it up for now.