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That "incentive pay" check? Can't deposit it because it's made out to "The Estate of...". My bank tells me I need to go to court and be declared the executor of the estate and open a separate account just for that. I can't even think about going to court, it's too absurd. There's no estate, he didn't have any property that we didn't hold in common.

Then they tell me I have to close my account to take H off of it. I've had that account for ~40 years, I don't want to close it! I can't learn a new account number. Not to mention that I'm not really eligible to open an account with this credit union anymore, so I don't know how that would work. I just can't even deal with it right now, my brain totally shuts down whenever I try to think about it.

In nicer, but also surprising news - I got one of those Dog Breed DNA tests done on Walter. We've always figured him to be mostly Border Collie and Australian Shepherd. The trainer we went to for obedience training thought we could get him some sort of waiver to be able to compete in AKC agility tests, because he looks so clearly Border Collie. And yet, according to the DNA lab, he's over 75% German Short-haired Pointer with no other breeds listed. And looking at Googled images of the breed and reading the description, I can see it. Show GSPs are disqualified for having any black (they are supposed to be liver and white) and he's all black and white, so maybe some breeder dumped his parents for being the wrong colors. When we first got him we speculated that he had some kind of pointer in him, because he would go into the classic pose (one paw raised and lined up under his nose) whenever he saw something interesting (like a horse or a bird or a rustling bush). And he would probably like everything about hunting except the guns - he really doesn't like loud noises, but swimming, running over rough terrain, and flushing game are all good times and he would love it if I was stricter with his training. So maybe instead of yearning for a flock of sheep all this time he has been wishing I would take up bow hunting.

In OTHER other news, I can pick up my bees on Saturday! Yay!


Feb. 4th, 2011 11:20 am
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Worm Bin #2 came yesterday, but it seems to be missing all its hardware. I'm going to go look for the missing bag of parts probably a few more times over the weekend, but if it's really not there and not just hiding from me, it looks like I will have to send the whole huge box back and wait for a replacement. Bah. AFAICT, the Green Worms are doing okay - they aren't on the surface anymore, at least and I saw at least one wiggling around the chard.

I think I forgot to mention that said worms are, of course, Red Wigglers, the Cadillac of Worms (which I sing to them all the time).

Today's mail brought a bill for H's corporate credit card for $250. I called to see what that's all about, but it was going to be a 6 minute wait on hold according to the automated thing that answered, so I took the automated voice's advice and will call back later. Probably something I do have to pay, which is disheartening. Such a round number, I hope they can tell me what the charges are. Were. Cover. I'm not sure what verb goes there.

For breakfast today I decided to have Cold Lazy Woman's Pho Ga, ie chicken broth with a lime squeezed into it. Yum. I love soup for breakfast whenever I think to have it, I wonder why it isn't more common.
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Well, I got the letter from Prudential. Apparently, H didn't disclose his stay at New Bridge when he applied for the extra coverage. Which I can see him doing. I mean, we weren't supposed to actually USE that policy. I don't understand why it took them 4 months to decide that that meant they weren't going to pay me, but whatever, I don't think I have any grounds for an appeal. They're argument is that they would have not accepted his application for coverage if that had been disclosed, I can't really say that they would have.

Oh, well.

The good thing to come out of this is that for a day or so there I was convinced that I would not be able to hold onto my house (that is not the case, at least not in any immediate sense) and it was really upsetting. I want to see the orange tree we planted together the first Tu B'Shvat after we moved in grow to full size and eat many oranges off of it. I want to be able to look up at the garage door opener while I'm doing laundry and remember the afternoon we spent installing it. I want to keep the fridge he insisted we get in the space it only fits in because we spent a whole day chipping brick facade off the wall. I want to keep looking at the pale spots on the bathroom walls where he got a little impatient with the second coat of paint and waffle about whether I'll touch them up or not.

We moved so many times - nine addresses in the ten years before we bought this house - so it's a little surprising to me that I so don't want to move now. But I don't. This is our house and I want to stay. And I should be able to. Even using my nest egg for all my expenses, I should be fine for at least another year or two, and if I can get a job that covers all my expenses besides the mortgage, I'll be good for 6 years or more.  That seems doable. 

So that's Future Tamara's problem, hopefully she'll have more possibilities and resources available to her than I can imagine now.
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But today is not that day. And, again, not because there aren't cheerful happenings that I could report, there really are, honest, but you'll have to take my word for it right now.

Financial decision, whee )
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
So, over the past few years, DH got a couple of stock option packages and a couple of outright stock grants as bonuses and so forth. With his death, the timeline on all that shifted - we (everything is in his name so it is weird to talk about, pronoun-wise) immediately vested 100%, apparently, and the options will expire next May .

I've been slowly closing accounts and generally trying to get everything into my name and, let me tell you, it's a huge hassle. Everyone needs their own paperwork and different assortments of official documents and everything has to go  through the mail because everyone has to have originals of everything, so huge swaths of time are lost to just waiting for everything to get where it needs to go.

Meanwhile, my savings are almost gone, I don't know if I will be able to make any of my payments due in October. My Social Security benefit, if I can ever manage to actually apply for that, will buy me some groceries, but that's about it. I have to wonder how they came up with that number for the lump sum, it's so specific yet I can't imagine what it might correspond to.

So, I realized yesterday that the login info for the stock account is all still good. Motorola stock is up a couple of bucks from the exercise price. It's starting to seem like cashing all that out and having the funds wired to the joint account would be the simplest way to resolve the question of my right to the account  (I've had no dealings with the bank that holds that account, other than getting statements, I have no idea what kind of rigmarole would be involved in getting the assets in my name but I'm fairly sure it would be significant just because it generally is) AND give me some breathing room to figure out what to do next.

And yet, it would be awfully nice to have a chunk of stock sitting there quietly appreciating. Just because. And Prudential could totally surprise me by paying my life insurance claim with alacrity

The DMV's talk of probate has convinced to wait a while before trying to do anything with the 401k, I think. It ought to be fine where it is.

ION, the coffee concentrate with cream added seems to have frozen more solidly than the straight concentrate. Surprising. The extra large ice cube trays are working out nicely so far. Unfortunately, frozen concentrate + boiling water = tepid coffee, but that's pretty easily remedied.

Edited at 8:49 am: Prudential just called me to let me know that the death certificate I mailed last week got there. I kind of love them right now.

Edited again at 9:20: Social Security was very easy once I got past being on hold. In fact, shortly after the recorded voice told me my wait was 10 minutes, it came back to tell me that I could punch in my phone number and get called back rather than sitting on hold the whole time. I wish I'd known that the first time I called. As it turns out, I could take care of the whole thing over the phone and don't have to go into the office at all. Nice.
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Cause of death: still under investigation.

I called to check, because they said 6-8 weeks for the toxicology report and it's been 8 weeks but they can't tell me anything other than the COD is not yet determined.

I was pretty comfortable with my savings when I thought 8 weeks was a real estimate, but now I am less sure how to proceed. I'm sure there will be additional time after the death certificate is issued before I can get everything settled and really know what  my financial situation is and money is the one area where I really don't like ambiguity.

I suppose I should focus on the not direness. I mean, the worst case scenario is that I lose the house and stay with my parents 'til I can get back on my feet. That's not so bad. And is probably not going to be the way things go. 

But not knowing how long I have to stretch my savings does make it hard to budget. And I like a budget, just like I like a plan, even if I don't follow it. Presently, I have neither.
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I got what I fervently hope will be my last ever rental security deposit back today. And it's much more than I expected - I thought our pet deposit was non-refundable and any cleaning would come out of security, but most of it was covered by the pet deposit so I feel like I'm barely out anything. Pretty cool.

No candle lighting for the first time in a while, because we used the last two last week and I forgot to get more. Whoops. Maybe we will go to service tomorrow morning to make up for it.
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Let me preface this by saying that my taxes have always been simple - my income has always been wages, a tiny bit of interest, occasional stock options exercising; I've never owned a home or had a dependent or ran a business or had investments. I've always done my own taxes and they were easy to understand.

Today I spent 5 hours doing my taxes and I have no idea what's going on with them. First I tried H&R Block's on-line TaxCut thing, which told me I should get around $3K back from the Feds, $500 from CA and $650 from LA. Thinking that that couldn't possibly be right, I put all the same information into TurboTax (who has, sometime in the last two months, decided that they can import last year's information into this year's return, so that's nice) which tells me i should get $100 back from the Feds, $1000 from CA and $250 from LA. I spent some time trying to track down what the differences could possibly be resulting from and I can't find a thing. It makes no sense at all.

So, I'm thinking that I should either take all my forms down to a professional and let him or her take care of it, but then I have to trust this STRANGER to take care of my finances and I am so not good at that. So the alternative is to go spend the day at the library and try to do the whole thing by hand, so at least I'll know where the parts I don't understand go on te various schedules and returns. It seems very backwards, but it's how I'm leaning at the moment.

It's such a nibbled by ducks thing. Here are the changes that are conspiring to drive me mad:
  • Henry changed jobs last year, therefore 2 W-2s
  • Henry had taxes withheld in La and it is unclear whether they get to keep any of that
  • I got paid as a contractor which seems to mean that I now own a business
  • Henry worked from home for half the year
  • My grandfather's trust was dissolved and I have to figure out how to account for my share of the losses and interest, and possibly the actual inheritance, which sure seems like income in that is money I didn't have before and now do, but didn't get applied in either attempt, so maybe not. In any case, the K-1 is freaking confusing and the trust's accountant as much as told me that I wouldn't be able to figure it out on the first try.
None of this is huge or outside the scope of the on-line tax software apps. I don't think. Maybe that's the problem. I don't know.

Oh, well, I feel better for bitching about it. That and eating, which I pretty much forgot to do today until just now...whoops.


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