Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A question answered.

I mentioned I was the sole beneficiary to my Aunty's estate in an earlier post. I mentioned we now have a house and the question was asked by a few people, "Why not borrow against the house".

It's not something I like to mentioned because it adds to the stress that makes up our situation and because it involves family, but I appreciate the questions and will make things clear as discreetly as I possibly can.

Aunty Marva & Aunty Hop are my grandmothers two younger sisters. They were never married. Both were military women. Aunty Marva was in the New Zealand Royal Air Force as a Warrant Officer and later an Accountant. She retired when she was 40, in 1979 - the year I was born. Aunty Hop was in the New Zealand Royal Army as an Executive Secretary in the Enrolments Office and I have no idea of her stats.

The day Aunty Marva passed away we needed her NZRAF number for the obituary in the newspaper. I entered the house, that was never ever locked, and pulled all her paperwork out of the filing cabinets and left it on the kitchen table. When I found what was required, I left everything on the table and walked out of the house without locking it, because it was natural to me to not lock it. We never locked it before, why start now?

Saying Aunty Marva was organized is an understatement. She was meticulous about organization. Her filing system in her cabinet was methodical. She knew where something was the moment you needed it and it was common knowledge that her signed Will was in the cabinet in a clear folder. I wasn't looking for it the day I threw everything out of the cabinet searching for her Military number, but everything I took out of the cabinet was accessible over the 4 days of her 'tangi'.

Someone took the Will. We know this because she told several of us just weeks earlier where it was when it was needed. I don't know why they took it. I don't know why they'd want it. I can speculate all I want as to who took it, but what is certain is that someone entered the house during those 4 days and took it.

We had an unsigned copy of the Will. A cousin, who is a lawyer, sited the signed and witnessed Will and was told by our Aunt where it would be when it was needed. We went to the lawyer with the unsigned Will. He went to court with an affidavit from my lawyer cousin and the unsigned will was denied in court, more evidence was needed.

I haven't heard from my lawyer since May and right now, that's not important. As long as we are paying the mortgage we have a house to live in.

This is where the question comes to light.
The house, as of yet, does not belong to us. It is in a state of legal purgatory and it's simply because I don't want to waste a minute of time worrying about owning a house outright when I have more important issues to tend to.
I also need a new lawyer.

That is why we can't borrow against the house.

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