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The taxes part of Death Business is done...

Posted Mar 03 2009 4:27pm
...finished, my part of it, anyway, today, and sent, as well. Once I'd put together everything Mom's CPA will need I realized I was ready to get it out the door. The FedEx satellite office close to my home keeps Sunday hours, glory be to all messenger gods, and collect for Monday travel.
    Although I still have much death business ahead of me, this was definitely the most harrowing part, as it included not only compiling Mom's regular income tax documentation, which is actually easy, but evaluating her estate for (possible) tax purposes. Chances are none will be levied against her estate, but its worth needed to be evaluated in order to make that determination. I had too little time to go through everything piece by piece, except that stuff which had significant value. That, in itself, was frustrating. I would have liked to have been able to spend several months combining the evaluation and sorting processes, but, you know, if you die at the end of the year you don't give your survivors enough time to take the leisurely route. I suppose I could have hired an estate evaluator to go through everything but, frankly, I didn't want anyone touching all her stuff before I got to it and, as well, I wanted to be involved in the process of evaluation. I was surprised at how much information I was able to get online, especially for what I formerly thought were obscure pieces of jewelry, Asian furniture and dinner ware that she and my Dad had purchased overseas. Turns out, many of the items I thought were obscure were not, at all. That, in itself, was interesting.
    The hard part was confronting the waves of memories, always at high tide, but not having the time to pay them proper attention and thus finding myself flung ashore, over and over and over.
    Ironically, many of the items to which I assigned monetary value will actually be given away, to relatives, friends and charities. One hope I have is to locate a charity, here, that gives items directly to those who need them, for free, rather than selling them in a discount store. If our community is too small for such an organized effort, I'm hoping I'll be able to find out about some location visited by the homeless and indigent where I can simply leave the items and allow them to be distributed by chance. I love the idea of just leaving things for people.
    I feel calmer, now, about conducting the rest of the necessary death business. An effort here, an effort there, day by day, without anxiety or defensiveness and I should be able to get most of it done without anxiety. My brain is still fairly muddled. I try to keep lists of duties as I think of them, then I lose track of the lists. But, you know, I'm finding that if I am honest about the cause of the what may appear to be delays, primarily my reaction to Mom's death, people easily dig into their memories of similar circumstances and are sympathetic. It's heartening to experience others' reactions to my own difficulties.
    So, I feel as though I've turned a corner; an obtuse, corner, but a corner, none the less.
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