End is in sight

Of the executrix gig.

I just printed off the statement of income, expenses and
deductions that the lawyer for Bonnie’s
estate needs to file the estate taxes. Yesterday I sent what I
believe to be the final check to the IRS to cover the tax mess she
was in.

If you ever have to do this, you should be more organized about
keeping records than I was. I put everything relevent in a box,
but it ended up being a lot of stuff to sort through to find the
numbers I needed. I had a good spreadsheet about the instruments,
and about the amounts of money that went between my checking
account and hers while I had power of attorney, and between my
account and the estate’s account after I was appointed executrix.
(A lawyer isn’t going to say directly that you should do this, but
I figured out from what he did say the day after she died that I should back date a check
to before she died and put it in my account so that I’d be able to
pay bills in the weeks between her death and my appointment as
executrix. So most of the funeral expenses came out of my
checking account, but it was mostly money that had been in
Bonnie’s checking account.)

But all the stuff about donations and sales of things other
than instruments should have been in the spreadsheet and were
instead in the box.

I think I have to produce an accounting of some sort before I
can pay any money to the legatees, but I’m hoping it won’t make me
feel as helpless as the tax statement did. I’m not sure why,
because I do my own taxes fairly easily, but it reminded me of when
I first went to school and had to do workbooks. I was young for
my grade, and clumsy at writing but facile at talking, so it
always seemed that there was nothing like room enough to really
answer the questions, so you had to not only figure out the
answer, which was easy, but figure out how to fit it into the
space they gave me, which usually seemed impossible.

So even after finding the cool new LaTeX class, I had to take
lots of deep breaths and assure myself that this really isn’t
anything I couldn’t do, and if I really couldn’t find the numbers,
I could just make up something plausible, and finally it’s in the mail.

The marginpar command in the tufte-handout class
is in fact a good feature for something like this. I had a list
of items like:

  • 4 boxes of books to Haverhill Library sale
  • 25 bags of clothes to Big Brother Big Sister

and I put marginal notes in explaining how many pounds in a box or
a bag.

Turning space into money

An advantage of the dog park being open again is that I get to
talk to people who do things I wouldn’t normally be involved in. A couple of nights ago,
the owner of a sprightly two-year-old terrier named Demon was
talking about all the good deals in used motorcycles you can get
this time of year.

Apparently, if you don’t have the space to store your
motorcycle for the winter, you sell it in the fall for very little money to
someone who does.

So my friend, who doesn’t personally have any more space than
anyone else who lives in a Cambridge apartment, was salivating
over the deals he’s been seeing in the used motorcycle market, and
wondering how many bikes he can convince his parents to store for him.