The Hellhole

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Getting Things Organized

I’m at the stage where I’m dealing with tidying up and organizing our financial life. Luckily for me, Helly was an accountant and also extremely organized, so I’m not finding a lot of stumbling blocks when it comes to sorting things out.

On Tuesday I met with her friend Phil, who was her personal banker when he worked at the bank branch in the building where Helly’s office was. Because she controlled a lot of money through her boss’s business accounts and investment accounts, the bank assigned her a personal banker so that she could always deal with the same person. Helly and Phil became good friends, recommending books and movies to each other and going to lunch from time to time. Phil moved to a different branch, but they kept in touch. So when it came time to start getting the finances in order, I reached out to him for help. Luckily he was willing and able to help me, so I drove up to the branch where he now works and spent a few hours with him getting Helly’s name off the joint accounts, making sure all those accounts were visible under my name, and starting the process to move her brokerage account into my name.

One thing I was happy to find is that all her personal credit cards carried a zero balance. Every. single. one. So instead of having to work out payment plans, I was able to just close the accounts. In fact, one of them actually owes me $30. That’s a testament to how thorough and meticulous Helly was when it came to our finances, and that is giving me a great foundation to start from. In fact, most of my credit cards (all two of them) are very close to being paid off, thanks to Helly being aggressive when she was able to with the payments.

I’m also working through the process to get the estate probated. Helly’s friend of many years, Cheryl, is a paralegal who specializes in probate and gave me a long checklist of items to gather for her so she could start that process. I’ve spent the past few days gathering files, sending e-mails, making calls, and putting together a spreadsheet with all the info Cheryl needed so she can file the petition with the probate court. I’m waiting on some paperwork from the mortgage company, and once I have that it will just be a matter of waiting for the petition to wind its way through court.

Having people like Phil and Cheryl to help me through this has been invaluable. I’m a smart guy, and I could have certainly figured all this out on my own… eventually. But being able to turn to people who do this kind of thing day in and day out has made the process so much easier.

I had planned to work on the financial and probate stuff in the mornings, and work on my job search in the afternoons, but it’s just been easier to focus on the financial stuff and get it done. Within the next few days I’m going to start the job hunt in earnest, and I’ve already got a list of a few companies to contact. Helly’s friend Ann gave me the number of the recruiter who placed her at a recent job and even called him to make an introduction, and my cousin Kenny, who knows pretty much everybody, is willing to contact some people he knows who might need a tech writer. Helly’s old boss Sandy has also asked for my resume, and he’ll get that in front of a lot of people, because he knows pretty much everybody too.

On a more personal note, I took my diploma to Michael’s today to get it framed. I choose a dark wood and the lady at the framing counter helped to choose the matting. I should get it back in about two weeks, and then I’ll find a place to hang it on the wall here in the office. I worked hard for that piece of paper, so why not show it off? I’ll post a picture once I have it back.

I also got a nice velvet bag for the box that Helly’s ashes are in, so that they can sit on the bookshelf behind my desk while I decide on an urn. I like to think that she’s looking over my shoulder as I work. I know she wouldn’t have wanted just the plain box to sit there, so the bag is a nice dark red color that she often had on her fingernails. I’ve got a picture of the two of us next to it, and her favorite stuffed animal leaning against it, and one of the many Ganesha statuettes she had around the house  is standing guard in front. I’ve been looking at urns, but nothing really stands out just yet. I’m sure I’ll find something eventually.

To close, here is one of my favorite pictures of Helly. We had stopped at a local family-owned bakery on the way back from visiting friends, and she had purchased a few small containers of buttercream icing, because Helly loved buttercream icing. It was one of the only sweets she ever ate. So when we got home I took this picture of her sticking her tongue into the icing to send to… someone, I don’t remember who. But I’ve always loved this picture.


  • She really was after my own heart. I too love buttercream frosting and will eat just that off of a piece of cake. Great picture, great memory. Also, glad to know you are getting the diploma framed. Helly would be so proud.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:11 PM  

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