Sat. May 15, 2021- tax day, again.

Gnu only knows what the weather will be like today. Hot and humid? Cooler and wet? All I know is that we’ll be getting some weather, whether we like it or not.

It stayed moderate yesterday, and mostly overcast, with periods of sun, mild wind, and even once a short misty spritz of drops on the windshield. That would be nice for today too.

Did some of my errands. Failed in my mission to pick up the inversion table. I’ll give that another try today. I’ve got some boots and a bike rack to pick up too. Then more work, including the paperwork I’ve been avoiding, and only doing in dribs and drabs.

My back and neck were OK throughout yesterday and should be today if I don’t re-aggravate them. One more visit to the bone cracker and I should be past this episode. I’m very grateful that we are grid up and the benefits of civilization are here for us. Skilled practitioners, pain relief drugs, and the infrastructure to provide them both will probably be with us for a while, lifetimes if we’re lucky. Getting by without them is possible, but not easy. Lot’s of things in this life that are just like that too. Possible, but not easy.

I’m not looking forward to any time when they are not. Plan for alternatives. Stack you what can…

nick

—–(((((((((((((PING))))))))))))))—— Dadcooks, welfare check. You doing OK?

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

42 thoughts on “Sat. May 15, 2021- tax day, again.”

  1. The problems of resolving an estate is a process full of greed. Especially from the courts.

    Several of the MIL’s accounts have beneficiaries. Those cannot be resolved until the death certificates are received by the institution. Death certificates are $13.00 each. To mail the certificates to us in TN was $25.00. Grrrrrrr.

    Next problem is that some of the accounts my wife’s name is not on the account nor is there a beneficiary. That is a problem. At one credit union all the certificates have my wife’s name and will go to her once the death certificates are received by the CU. But the base share account, with a total of $5.00, will not. That will require a probated will.

    At the other CU there are two certificates with no beneficiary or my wife’s name on the account. The base share account and checking account do have my wife’s name so those will go to her once the death certificates are received by the CU.

    Apparently the probate court gets a commission, their fee is based on that amount being probated. Up to 4%. The  lawyers that are required to do the probate documentation also charge based on the amount being probated and that can rise to as much as 10%. Double grrrrrrrrr.

    So the plan now is to resolve the accounts where the wife is joint and let the accounts with beneficiaries go to the designated individuals. This will reduce the amount that needs to be probated by several thousands of dollars thus reducing the fees that will have to be paid.

    Next issue is the actual probate. It is uncertain if we can probate the will in TN or do we have to return to TX. Returning to TX will require some logistic shuffling especially scheduling a judge. As part of the probate the wife has to appear before a judge so her identity can be proven to the judge. That will then provide a document of testimony that the wife is who she says she is and the will provides her the estate and appoints her as executor.

    Wife should be able to do this in TN but the attorney to whom we talked is uncertain. When the time comes we will have to retain him for the process. He may have to put us in contact with an attorney in TX. IE, more money for lawyers and the legal system.

    This entire process is demonstrating to me that within the next few years I need to have my son’s name placed as beneficiary on all my investments in addition to the wife’s name. Her name is already on the accounts. I will also need to add my son to the CU accounts and to the deed records on the house. When the wife and I expire everything should easily then transfer to him without the need of the greedy scum bag courts and lawyers.

    The entire legal system is designed to benefit the lawyers and line their pockets. Along with providing a steady flow of cash ripped from people to support the fools in the court system.

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  2. Gotta road trip to a Sam’s in Dallas today so my daughter can have her first Pfizer shot.

    CA transplant parents planning a birthday party for their 15 year old this Summer are insisting that everyone show up vaccinated.

     

  3. Thus actual probate will not occur for at least a couple more months. Minimize the amount probated. Minimize the fees to the court and lawyers. But there is probably a minimum amount that will need to be paid to the courts and lawyers. In other words, the greater of x% or $5,000. The system sucks.

  4. The entire legal system is designed to benefit the lawyers and line their pockets. Along with providing a steady flow of cash ripped from people to support the fools in the court system. 

    Texas is pretty complicated. You’ll probably have to show up in Bexar (?) County court.

    The nurses in the transplant program at UT Southwestern who took care of my father-in-law — in more ways than one — knew how to work the system. By using life insurance in their racket and deliberately acquiring “informant” status through paying for the cremation, the nurse who collected on his life insurance didn’t have to deal with probate, just pay for the single death certificate.


  5. You’ll probably have to show up in Bexar (correct) County court

    That is my real concern. A 2,400 mile trip, probably 4 or 5 nights in a hotel, five days. Unneeded expense.

    Wife did talk with a court clerk who said they “may” be able to do the process by mail but we have to send the original will. That seems stupid because the will was registered with Bexar county and the document should be available through the courts electronic records system. And if sending the original will I will send it registered, return receipt. Another, although trivial, expense.

    Surely people probate wills without having to travel to individual states. Imagine a person with accounts in three or four states. Would the require that probate be done in each state? Would that require the executor travel to each state and appear before a judge in the state? That is really a significant effort that has to be able to handled from the executor’s home state.

    We did sell the MIL’s car after she died using the POA. Of course the POA is worthless once a person dies. But Carmax did not know that she was dead and I saw no reason to inform them of such. I was not willing to store the car for two or three months then have to return to sell the car. Or have to drive the car back to TN, get insurance, etc. when I was able to just sell the car while in San Antonio.

    The credit union gave us grief when we deposited the check. MIL’s name was on the check. Wife deposited the check into the account with MIL’s name and wife’s name. CU was still uncertain if the check could be deposited (they did not yet know MIL had died). Placed a 10 business day hold on the check. The wife did screw up by signing her name to the check instead of writing “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY”. CU does have a copy of the POA but were still fussy about the whole process.

  6. Surely people probate wills without having to travel to individual states. Imagine a person with accounts in three or four states. Would the require that probate be done in each state? Would that require the executor travel to each state and appear before a judge in the state? That is really a significant effort that has to be able to handled from the executor’s home state.

    Texas probate law seems designed to keep as much money as possible in Texas.

    We didn’t live here when my father-in-law passed. In retrospect I believe we should have told the lawyer to reject the executor responsibility and let the courts name someone. The time window for that is really  narrow, however.

    The probate lawyer was competent, but he didn’t tell us all the options. I suspect he wanted to mess around with my sister-in-law — ex-stripper, fellow smoker. It is always the Harvard guys.

  7. We did sell the MIL’s car after she died using the POA. Of course the POA is worthless once a person dies. But Carmax did not know that she was dead and I saw no reason to inform them of such. I was not willing to store the car for two or three months then have to return to sell the car. Or have to drive the car back to TN, get insurance, etc. when I was able to just sell the car while in San Antonio.

    You timed the car perfectly. I doubt the used car market will be as hot in three months as it is right now, and Toyota is probably reaching the end of their dissatisfied customer list with the early iterations of the current generation of the Camry.

  8. Do you really have to go through probate? Granted, my mother didn’t have many assets, but: the funeral home organized the death certificates, and I used those to shut everything down. My name was already on her bank accounts, so I could close them. Never talked to a lawyer or a judge at all.


  9. I am surprised that all of those dishes can be so close to each other. I obviously do not understand how this is working.

    They use electronic beam steering. Each of those antennas can be “pointing” in a direction chosen by the system by varying the beam shape.

     


  10. Apparently the probate court gets a commission, their fee is based on that amount being probated. Up to 4%. The  lawyers that are required to do the probate documentation also charge based on the amount being probated and that can rise to as much as 10%. Double grrrrrrrrr.

    Texas doesn’t charge percentages for probate, there are flat fees for filing and getting documents. A Texas attorney can probably do it for a near flat fee, not a percentage. In addition to death certificates for accounts without your wife as beneficiary, she will need “letters testamentary” that appoint her as executor.

    Having accounts in multiple states isn’t a problem. My mom’s IRA was technically in another state. She owned some stock that was held in another state. In all these cases, a Texas death certificate was adequate to get the monies released to the estate. (Remember, states have to honor each other’s judicial actions – marriages, divorces, etc.)

    TBH, you need to talk to an estate attorney in Bexar county in Texas. And yes, they need the original of the will because they need to be able to verify signatures being done in ink. (When we did wills, the attorney made sure we signed in blue ink, FWIW.)

  11. Do you really have to go through probate? Granted, my mother didn’t have many assets, but: the funeral home organized the death certificates, and I used those to shut everything down. My name was already on her bank accounts, so I could close them. Never talked to a lawyer or a judge at all. 

    Texas has odd laws. Probate gets complicated because the state has a legal definition for a common law marriage and a requirement that a “spouse” get at least half of an estate to avoid a court case. Things can get especially complicated if the deceased was old enough to exercise their option to defer the (typically pricey) property taxes to their passing and make the payments an estate claim.

  12. Texas also still has jury trial divorce as an option.

    The judge will determine the settlement, but the jury decides fault.

  13. “but in Texas isn’t it really a June 15 deadline”

    -just going by what my wife tells me. She wanted all the paper today. Which hasn’t happened yet.

    Just got up. 76F and overcast, but only 71%RH. Back and neck are still fine, if a bit stiff.

    Time to feed the monsters and start my day.

    n

  14. “but in Texas isn’t it really a June 15 deadline”

    -just going by what my wife tells me. She wanted all the paper today. Which hasn’t happened yet.

    Quarterly filing is still due on the normal schedule.

  15. @nick

    You have mentioned May 15 as the Federal Income Theft filing deadline a couple of times, but in Texas isn’t it really a June 15 deadline to pay the extortion bosses?

    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline

    #TaxationIsTheft

    Everywhere but Texas, the income tax day has been moved to Monday, May 17.

    Texas is June 15 this year due to the Winter Storm Uri.
    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-announces-tax-relief-for-texas-severe-winter-storm-victims
    and
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_13%E2%80%9317,_2021_North_American_winter_storm

    I think that the IRS is just totally overwhlemed since no one is really working there but on e or two days a week. So Uri was a good reason to delay everything a couple of months. After all, Texas is 10% of the USA population (actually 9% but I like rounding up).

  16. I’m tellin’ ya, this is REALLY starting to make my think that “aliens exist and are here” might be on the calendar for 2021, or 2022.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9580733/US-Navy-pilots-saw-UFOs-coast-Virginia-frequently-got-used-them.html

    In scifi stories, it’s rarely a good thing when they show up at your place.

    Nah, that is the new reactionless drive system being tested by the area 51 guys. They got it out of that Roswell alien space ship crash back in 1947.

    And every time an advanced technology shows up at your doorstep, things go bad for the natives. Just ask the millions of native americans when Columbus showed up. Of course, John Ringo wrote a most excellent future documentary about aliens showing up in the Solar System and building a star gate usable by any alien species.
    https://www.amazon.com/Live-Free-Die-Troy-Rising/dp/1439133972/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Or the excellent documentary by Pournelle and Niven that was edited by Heinlein:
    https://www.amazon.com/Footfall-Larry-Niven/dp/0345323440/?tag=ttgnet-20

  17. “but in Texas isn’t it really a June 15 deadline”

    -just going by what my wife tells me. She wanted all the paper today. Which hasn’t happened yet.

    Quarterly filing is still due on the normal schedule.

    I don’t quarterly file estimated taxes even though half of my income is from rental properties. I just withhold as single and add extra from my main job.

  18. Apparently the probate court gets a commission, their fee is based on that amount being probated. Up to 4%. The lawyers that are required to do the probate documentation also charge based on the amount being probated and that can rise to as much as 10%. Double grrrrrrrrr.

    Here in Texas, actually Denton County where her father lived, the probate lawyer was $2,000 and he covered the court fees. The probate ceremony was scheduled for April 1, 2021 on Oct 1, 2020, took so long because of all the deaths and was totally virtual. The wife got her article of testamentary or whatever that thing is by proving to the court that she is the named executor of the will.

    The probate lawyer is also helping with the property transfer and canceling the two remaining timeshares. Texas has a law that says that the inheritors can pick and choose what they want to inherit. Nobody wants the two remaining timeshares in North Carolina and Missouri so the lawyer drew up documents for her and her sister and their four children to sign. She got them all notarized and sent to the timeshares yesterday. The Texas law says that the inheritors must disclaim the property within nine months, that is June 10 so she got it done before the deadline.

  19. Surely people probate wills without having to travel to individual states. Imagine a person with accounts in three or four states. Would the require that probate be done in each state? Would that require the executor travel to each state and appear before a judge in the state? That is really a significant effort that has to be able to handled from the executor’s home state.

    A lot of probate in Texas is being handled virtually. The wife did not have to travel to Denton County, 300 miles north of here.

    The wife has inherited two 1 acre lots from her father far outside Branson, Missouri. She is trying to get title to the lots without going through probate as the lots are worth $5,000 at absolute most. Her father paid $55,000 each for them back in 2006 and got taken.

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  20. You timed the car perfectly. I doubt the used car market will be as hot in three months

    Yep. MIL bought the car two years ago, a 2019 model, for $19,000. Sold the car to CarMax for $18,000. Car only had 4,800 miles. Basically driven a couple times a week by an old lady to church. Cliche, but in this case true. I suspect CarMax sold the car for $21,000, or more.

    Do you really have to go through probate?

    Yes. There are some accounts where my wife is not listed and there is no beneficiary. My wife firmly believes at one time there were beneficiaries and the CU has made a mistake. We are going to ask the CU to research when the certificates were renewed and when the names were removed and by whom. The CU should have those records on microfilm or archived somehow. Will the CU will do that for my wife when she is not on the account?

    I also need probate for a couple of accounts at Vanguard that I think have no beneficiary. They might as they are investment funds and those usually strongly suggest a beneficiary be named. I know my advisor strongly recommended such. I know my wife is not on the accounts so I suspect probate is the only way.

    she will need “letters testamentary” that appoint her as executor

    That we have learned. And that document has to come from a probate process signed off by a judge. Basically proving to the judge that my wife is truly the daughter of her mother. We need the wife’s birth certificate along with the death certificate of her mother.

    Probate gets complicated because the state has a legal definition for a common law marriage and a requirement that a “spouse” get at least half of an estate to avoid a court case

    There is no spouse. He died about five years ago. We may have to have his death certificate in addition to all the other documents.

    The plan is to deal with the credit unions and get everything that has the wife’s name transferred to the wife. Remove the MIL’s name from the accounts. Accounts with her name on the account should not be a problem, emphasizing “should not”. Beneficiaries should be issued the money within a couple of days of the CU getting the death certificate.

    That will minimize the amount to probate to Vanguard (maybe) and a couple of accounts at the CU. If we can prove the CU made a mistake maybe those will go away just leaving Vanguard. There is an account at one CU, the base share account, that has $10.00 and the wife’s name is not on that account. That is not even worth the effort.

    MIL’s husband was also getting money from an oil lease. That lease is split four ways with her deceased husband being one of those. The income is about $200.00 a year. MIL tried to get that turned over to her and the oil company demanded probate be done in Illinois. Based on the cost and the hassles it was not worth the effort. Two of the people on the lease are deceased and their income was even less. Only one is surviving and her amount is the smallest amount and no one knows where she is located. That money will basically be abandoned.

  21. All this talk about wills and probates has got me thinking that I need to get started on this.

    A bit of research has found some software from Nolo Press and Quicken that might be appropriate, and has the features need to do a will and living trust.

    https://amzn.to/3uSuWFB

    This looks like a good purchase (for every state but LA and maybe Florida).

    As for used cars, I was thinking about selling my 2007 Camry LE. Did some online research on costs, including selling via one of those online places. One was “Shift”. Their initial offer 6 weeks ago was $3300 (less whatever they find with an in-person inspection). Last week, they upped the offer to $3900.

    Probably won’t sell it, though. The second car is occasionally useful, although it has gotten to the point of “driven to church only on Sundays”.

  22. “Heaven’s River: Bobiverse, Book 4” by Dennis E. Taylor
    https://www.amazon.com/Heavens-River-Dennis-Taylor/dp/1680682261/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number four of a four book space opera series. I read the well printed and well bound 600 page POD (print on demand) trade paperback published by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency in 2020. I will purchase and read any future books in the series.

    “Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.”

    “Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the State. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling A.I. in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high, no less than first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he’ll be switched off and they’ll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target for sabotage. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.”

    Ah, space opera by the pound, cool ! It is a novel of deceit, deception, and betrayal. In other words, a typical space opera story. Heaven’s River is a double wall torus surrounding a distant star, a partial Dyson Sphere. Almost a 100 miles wide and a billion miles long, it houses the survivors of a planetary war, a beaver like creature, as their planet is no longer habitable.
    http://dennisetaylor.org/2020/10/08/heavens-river-a-quick-description/

    Bob’s descendants are now over 10,000 with up to 24 generations. Their physical AIs are up to 100 light years away from Sol. Each of the AI’s is a little different from Bob due to replicative drift. Many of them have formed groups with wildly differing goals. And some of these groups are violent, especially about continued contact with human beings and other intelligent species.

    The author has a website at:
    http://dennisetaylor.org/

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,775 reviews)

  23. Been working on a new ‘author’ web site for my books. Got it done – much cleaner than the old place.

    Did it with WordPress and the Divi theme – drag/drop theme builder. Nice tool for creating  custom-looking web sites. And moved it from the development area to the live area, after I realized that I needed to tweak the htaccess file for the ‘live’ site.

    It’s here, in case anyone is interested. https://www.RichardHellewell.com .

    I’ll be using Divi (from Elegant Themes) for some new sites that are in the pipeline. Good product for WordPress sites.

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  24. Looks nice Rick.

    Humidity went way up. At least if feels like it did. Cut the grass and I was soaked.

    Cut the neighbor’s grass too. House has been empty for months and it was getting to the point of being a nuisance. It looked terrible and says all the wrong things about our street.

    Made my pickups. Got a great sturdy pair of Wesco boots (biker/hiking/work not steel toes, not knee high). Haven’t figured out which model they are yet, but they are definitely worth re-soling and rehabbing. With a bit of work and care, they’ll be good for another 40-50 years.

    Got my inversion table and will assemble that later.

    Sorting thru some thrift store stuff. Lots of lego this time… you never know.

    n


  25. (from yesterday)From discussion yesterday, I’d bet really good money at least half of the current Fortune 500 companies don’t have good complete backups, let alone a decently secure network. It’s dangerous out there kids.

    Tempted to take that bet (for a buck). I skimmed through the current list and I’d guess closer to 90% have decent backups. Now when it comes to network security, then yes, all bets are off.


  26. (from yesterday) First, it appears that it was not the OT networks that were infected but Colonial’s IT billing system. One of the reasons Colonial stopped the flow of gas is because they would not be able to bill for it.

    I hadn’t thought of that but figured it would be something involving tracking, managing, or scheduling the flow that was essential but not on the SCADA systems that was the problem. Billing makes perfect sense.

    (On the other hand, I would have thought tracking the flow for billing would require accepting (summary) data from the SCADA system, so while maybe it would be awkward, they could eventually reconstruct/reload that data and bill. But I really know little to nothing about such systems)

    I guess I fall on the side of putting the ‘hate’ on the hoarding drivers filling their tanks (and more) when the only place they planned to drive to was the gas station, rather than on the pipeline company putting profits first. Would they have done the same though under different circumstances (i.e. a real emergency)?


  27. (from yesterday) Garland is not only a liar but partisan scum. He could have ended up on SCOTUS.

    Garland could STILL end up on SCOTUS. They are making plans to add four more justices to SCOTUS.

    Do you really think Chuckie Cheese can corral the 50 votes?

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  28. (from yesterday) I work for a Canadian bank. A successful attack that exposed client data would be a reputational disaster so there is a lot of time and money spent on cyber security.

    Banks used to have a policy of keeping small embezzlements quiet. But with the new data protection laws, that’s probably out the window.

    Plenty still gets kept quiet, or if required, communicated at a more senior level than in the past (according to a friend of course).

  29. “I guess I fall on the side of putting the ‘hate’ on the hoarding drivers filling their tanks (and more) when the only place they planned to drive to was the gas station”

    –I don’t know how many would fall into that category. The reports were people waiting in line for hours. I don’t think you wait for hours if you are just filling your tank “because”. You do that if you have to get to work.

    n

  30. The ‘hoarding’ is what you are going to see with any potential disruption of supplies – no matter what the supplies are, and no matter what the reason (perceived or actual).

    Remember the TP shortages a year ago, and bleach/sanitizing supplies? And so on ….

    It’s always going to happen. Hoarding even applies to preppers – who maybe are more long-term hoarders than ‘right now’.

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  31. (from yesterday) Garland is not only a liar but partisan scum. He could have ended up on SCOTUS.

    Garland could STILL end up on SCOTUS. They are making plans to add four more justices to SCOTUS.

    Do you really think Chuckie Cheese can corral the 50 votes?

    Don’t know. I would not bet against it though.

  32. “Hoarding” is one of those words that is used to FUKC people out of their property.

    No one has a prior ‘right’ to have stuff available on their schedule. No one has a right to have other people provide them with stuff at all. The prudent person makes arrangements to have anything they need PRIOR to need.

    Or they recognize their previous choices put them in the position they are in and they gratefully pay whatever price is required to FIX THEIR PROBLEM. Or do without.

    And when someone with stuff decides to sell it to the people who are desperate for it, he gets accused of “price gouging”. Which is another phrase that is used to steal from people.

    This is the constant give and take of prepping, can I get this later, or do I need to get some now? What will it cost me if I’m wrong? What will it cost me to cover my bet? Will some be enough to get me to a place where I can get more?

    Hoarding is an UN -personing word that makes it possible to do terrible things. And I gotta wonder, where does the ruthlessness come from then and why does it hate itself so much that it punishes what it sees as ruthlessness in others? It is the ruthlessness and cowardice of the mob that takes what others have because they didn’t provide for themselves. There’s a kind of “you’re F’ing us, so we’re gonna F YOU HARDER” involved in the whole idea.

    n

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  33. “Do you really think Chuckie Cheese can corral the 50 votes?”

    Don’t know. I would not bet against it though.

    Move the Supreme Court building to West Virginia and Manchin may go for it.

    I’ll give the guy credit — he understands the importance of pork spending.

  34. There’s a good sort of hoarding, and a bad sort.  The good sort is where you anticipate the shortage in advance and prepare for it.  The bad sort is when you wait until the shortage arrives and panic buy.

    That we engage in the sensible sort of hoarding shouldn’t blind us to the fact that some people can be incredible jerks at it.

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