Category Archives: Turbulance

As the Executor…

You are the executor of an estate.  This job is grueling.  I understand it has been made harder by his complete lack of planning, organization, and (as you have come to learn) insufficient funds.

But as the executor the job you do is critical to ensuring that that those of us who are left stuck paying bills and taking over accounts can do so.  We have no authority until the account is properly turned over to us by you.

Other people, your own nieces and myself, are relying on you to get this done. Not only do you have to send proper documentation to many places so the death can be properly noted, but you also have to follow-up to ensure that the person who is going to be responsible can take over.

Sending a death certificate and then telling me to call and start to make payments does not work.  You need to do this the right way.  If an account was financial in any way – if it involved payment of any kind, then it needs to be properly closed due to death and completely turned over in someone’s name.

While his secrets that you are uncovering are horrific to learn, I am sorry to say “welcome to the party.”  Had you involved me from the beginning this would have been much easier.  We could have worked together.

All executors need to understand that their job, while horrific, has significant legal and financial impact on the lives of other people.  It isn’t enough to say you have faxed and talked – you need to make sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the individuals left to take care of affairs have the full power to do so.

For elaborate estates and/or those with significant problems, the amount of work will probably be substantial.

My ex-husband passed way in early July.  I was left holding the bag on a loan he had that is secured against my home (no good deed goes unpunished).  As I write now, nearly a month after his death, I still do not have proper and full access to his account.  The attorneys and executor have no problem, obligation, or care that I am the one who is paying the bill.  I’m just wondering when someone is going to actually be on my side in getting this done.

Just Keep Passing Out the Peanuts

On April 12, 2017 while attending a conference in Philadelphia I received a text from my ex-husband.  I knew he was also down in Philadelphia, his trip was to visit a surgeon at Penn hospital to remove a growing bump on his neck.

“I have anaplastic thyroid cancer.”

I originally thought, “oh jeeze, like me need this.  But whatever, we will get through it.”   Having never heard of this type of Thyroid Cancer I immediately looked it up.”  Tears filled my eyes, my hands started to shake, and stresses ripped through my body settling with that tingling feeling in my calves as I read…


I immediately asked him what stage he had…afterall, isn’t that one of the first thing they tell you?  I thought of our three teenage daughters…but as I dug a little deeper into the internet from my phone, I learned that this cancer is always stage 4.

As I look back on these last six weeks (it seems like I have been in a time warp, I have realized that at that moment John shared his news with me the plane our little family usually travels on started experiencing extreme turbulence.  And just like a flight attendant, my job would be to stay calm and just keep handing out the peanuts.

But let me tell you, that has not been easy.  He left his original surgery with a tracheotomy and was not able to speak for weeks.  Upon learning the results of surgery (which did not produce the miracle we hoped for), and many times since I have been the one to share news with our three daughters, and none of it has been particular good.  I was the one who told them the actual diagnosis, “dad is back in the hospital.”

I’m just now realizing the importance of writing about this.  My dear sister Susan reminded me of my gift and the cathartic impact.  Not to mention that I have a resounding message, that every divorced parent needs to hear…which will be shared with every post…

For the sake of your children make friends with your ex.  As divorced parents it is the greatest gift you can give to your children.