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.

Tufte-inspired LaTeX class

One of the things I do when I’m putting off doing a piece of writing
because I won’t enjoy it is figure out a new way to publish it
so that it will at least look good.

I ran across the Tufte LaTex
package
on the comp.text.tex newsgroup yesterday and
downloaded it. It really does look nice, so I’m writing the
summary of income, deductions, and expenses for the Estate of
Bonnie Rogers using it.

It’s inspired by the books of <a href="Edward Tufte,
whose design lots of people, including me, admire.

I think the package may be a work in progress, but so far the
quick outline I threw up of my document does compile and look
pretty good. I base my judgement about the work in progress on
both the question on the newsgroup and the fact that the
sample-book gives me errors instead of a PDF file on my
machine.

There probably isn’t much point using the Tufte style
if you aren’t going to have marginal notes and figures, but for
this purpose there won’t be any trouble writing marginal notes
like “Ted, you have the paperwork for the sale of the house, so
your guess about which items are expenses is better than
mine.”

Another piece of distraction I found was downloading the free

Bergamo Std font
from fontsite.com. So then I
had to google things about how to use open type fonts. The
magic word for Ubuntu is that after you’ve unzipped the fonts
into a suitable directory, such as /usr/local/share/fonts, you
say:

fc-cache -f -v

Then if you want to look at them on the screen, Abiword seems
to
support open type fonts better than openoffice. I had to change
permissions on both the directory and the fonts before I could
use them.