Visiting my Former MIL, Day 2 (edited)

From getting up until I left, Jane was in the same ‘frame of mind’ she’d exhibited last night. She asked me what I wanted for breakfast, literally, three time in 30 seconds, and then took 7 minutes to get a piece of toast underway for her own breakfast as she continually self-distracted herself.

After breakfast Jane asked me, “Did they ever figure out why Kris got what he got?” She was referring to her son, and my late former husband, who died of lung cancer in 2012. I was stunned to hear this question. I replied, “Cigarettes.” She said that was impossible, to which I replied he’d resumed smoking at least a dozen years before he passed. She dropped that thread of conversation. I picked my jaw up off the floor.

At some point during the endless watching of Fox News, she looked at me and said she’d redone her will, and all ‘those’ papers. I asked her if she’d redone her estate documents since making me executor. She had, and made her step-son executor. I would later come to find out from Dan (step-son) that this is far from the first time she, and she and her late husband, have done this. She then said, what prompted me to call Dan later in the day, “The attorney said all this (meaning her estate) came from Dan, and he deserves this. It’s the least I can do for him as he’s been so good to me.” Dan has been amazing to Jane, but it was his dad who amassed the estate. And, being the executor for an estate is not exactly what I would call a prize of a job, much less a reward for being an exemplary son.

After leaving Jane’s, I called Dan. He’s observed everything I have during his last two visits with Jane. He illuminated the details of the conversation with the attorney, which he was present for. Most notably, the attorney didn’t tell Jane to hand over the executorship of the estate to Dan due to what Jane told me, above. Further, Jane is refusing to reveal the locations of things like safe deposit box keys, bank account locations, or the estate docs themselves to the two people who she’s given financial and medical power of attorney to. They both live out of state. The attorney explained to Jane that she was making a serious error, particularly should there be a medical crisis, at midnight, and both of these important people are, say, on vacation… She wouldn’t budge. Dan is bemused by his step-mama’s behavior, but not surprised. Says he’s been trying to work with Jane for 55 years.

I am actually relieved Not to be Jane’s executor any longer. It simplifies our relationship, making it one of family rather than one weighted with legal obligation.

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