By now, I am positive everyone is sick of hearing me go on and on about the legal woes and trust fund issues I have. Trust me, i’m tired of TALKING about it! I’m not even doing the work and I am mentally exhausted. I can’t imagine how my aunt feels right now.
Today I was faced with a crazy moral dilemma. In my opinion, the worst kind of dilemma is a moral one.
Upon (finally) talking to the estate lawyer, my brother and I found out that the courts may decide not to give us any money until MY 27th birthday, which isn’t for two years. Essentially screwing me over.. but that’s not the point.
We also found out that since the trust was never really set up, that all the money I had used for medical expenses and my car do not count towards my share of the money left. The money left in the trust that will be set up (or not, depending on the judge), will be split into equal shares.
To me, that is totally unfair, seeing as my brother never used ANY money from the trust fund and I did.. he should receive more money than me. Legally, that is not the case.
Due to the fact that I totally suck at math, I started freaking out, because my brother needs that money almost as badly as we do (i’d say just as badly if it weren’t for our impending down payment), and I can not just keep all the money that should be his anyways.. but giving him the money I thought was his (11k to be exact) would mean we wouldn’t have enough for our down payment and we’d be totally screwed. My brother had offered to loan us the money anyways, but I was still tearing my hair out at the thought of keeping money that should go to him.
He told me it was up to me, he wouldn’t hate me if I kept it, and wouldn’t tell me to give it to him. Sweet, but didn’t help all the thoughts floating around my head.
So there was my moral dilemma. When we got the money, did I just give him everything that was rightfully his, or keep it and pay the down payment? Do I pay the down payment and give him EVERYTHING that would be left (which wouldn’t be much in my sucky-math mind), and have nothing? I mean, at least we’d have paid our down payment, right?
I knew I couldn’t keep the money. I couldn’t do that to my brother.. but I also knew that if we didn’t pay the full down payment, WE would be screwed. I was totally torn.
Again, I knew my brother would understand, but i’d always feel bad and of course would start to pay him back- but that would take forever (and ever).
Thomas saved the day. He is a math-whiz. He came home and started writing out the numbers of what I have spent, and what my brother should be getting. It came out to a totally different number, which made NO SENSE TO ME. If I spent 11k of the trust fund, shouldn’t my brother get 11k more?
No. I’m stupid.
I spent 11k of OUR money, not HIS money. Meaning he gets 5.5k of my share, not 11k of it. 5.5k seems like a lot of money, but you know what- he’s entitled to it. He shouldn’t get less than me, that would be wrong. AND, giving him 5.5k gives us enough to pay the down payment, and pay myself back for the intial 2k down payment, with a little to spare. YAY. Problem instantly solved.
This isn’t to say I WOULDN’T have given him 11k he deserves otherwise.. I might have just paid him back later, and would have freaked out about it for much longer.
Now all we have to worry about is WHEN the money will come. The estate lawyer is reading the trust document much different than me (and Thomas, and my Dad).. but is still petitioning the court to just liquidate it now seeing as my brother and I are upstanding adults and could really use the money.
It’s all up to the judge at this point. Every judge has an opinion- and opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and they all stink.
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