Monday, December 13, 2010

Crafting is More Fun than Lawyers

I've developed a new appreciation for lawyers.  Well... MY lawyer, in particular.  But, they are time consuming and expensive.  The expensive part is what my former sargeant in the Army would call a "Personal Problem".

But, the TIME-CONSUMING part has not only affected me; but, affected those of you that were hoping for more help than I've been able to provide in the last few months.  So, I thought I'd at least provide you with an explanation and my intentions going forward.

No, I have NOT abandoned the eCraft.  The new patch is exactly what I expected it to be.  It's certainly not what I hope it will become.  But, it met my level of expectations for now.

My father-in-law has had dementia for at least three years.  He was tested in 2008 and 2009 by his neurologist and a geriatric psychiatrist three different times.  And, each time the dementia had progressed.  The last Mini Mental Exam (MME) score in 2009 was 17/30.  He was institutionalized for about a year until on a visit home he absolutely refused to be moved.  My 87 year old mother-in-law tried to care for him; but, as you can imagine it was exhausting.

He fell in January of this year.  And, thinking that we'd give her some respite for a few days before deciding whether or not to place him back in the nursing home, we agreed that he should go to my sister-in-law's for a few days.

In five days, she took him to her long-time physician at a walk-in clinic and had her doctor sign a certificate that declared that my father-in-law was capable of signing a Power of Attorney document and a will.  She effectively took over his life in just five days.  She then sent a letter of demand to her mother to fork over half of everything her father and mother owned to her.

Thus began a protracted legal battle that, in total, among all the parties, has already cost well over $100,000.  When you are involved in something this complex, there is little time left for cutting shapes.

My sister-in-law's attorneys are with a law firm having a reputation for being a "predatory" law firm.  They not only prey on those they are fighting in court.  They also prey on their own clients, generating many, many times the number of pages to generate excessive costs.  There are six lawyers involved in the cases that have come about because of my sister-in-law's actions.  My sister-in-law, for instance, is paying $400 per hour to TWO lawyers.  So, she is definitely VERY serious about grabbing 1/2 of the estate even before her parents are dead.  If she wins, she will, no doubt, sell her parent's home, forcing her mom into a facility.

Why?  The economy.  My sister-in-law and her husband took out a $960,000 mortgage and an $80,000 line of credit on a $1.2 million dollar home.  They could afford that if they were both working.  But, that is not the case.  And, in fact, neither are working right now.

So, we have to stop what she is doing to her parents.  And, because of the excessive filings and paperwork keeping up is quite a chore.  But, we WILL prevail.  We will NOT give up.  As part of our action, the courts asked that my father-in-law be tested again, and the outcome was no surprise.  He tested 15/30 on the MME tests.  Clearly, he did NOT have a miraculous recovery back in January.

The final court date was to be in the last part of December, 2010.  But, it's been moved back to March 2011.  Hopefully, after the holidays I will have a little respite to check out the new software more completely before having to pick up my research for the final trial.

So, that is my explanation for my absence at the very time you needed me to be on top of my game.  But, it looks to me that the eCraft is going to be one of those products that developes slowly, over time.  So, hopefully, by the time that they bring out the next phase of software, I'll be here for you.

But, by THAT time, I might only be able to test 15/30 on the MME!!!


Twish said...

I've been wondering where you were! I really just want to say that we will keep a good thought for you and your side of the battle!

Denise O'Connor said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I sincerely hope that you and your wife win this battle for your in-laws. It is a shame that a greedy sibling would do this to her parents. Family comes first, so do what you need to do and Good Luck!

Ruthie said...

Hey! Thought it was something to do with that! As Denise gotta look to your own first! Hope everything gets sorted out right - cant believe it can come out any other way - but who knows!

People are so strange!


Lysa said...

So sorry to hear you are dealing with this situation. My prayers to you and your family. Thank the lord your Father and Mother In Law have you and your wife to assist them in this difficult time. I will keep a good thought and say a prayer that all works out for you all. Blessing to you and yours for the holidays and many prayers to you all as you travel this road.

Tom Meeks said...

Thanks, everyone.

We're taking advantage of a little bit of lull to get ready for Christmas and I'm looking forward to celebrating it with my grandchildren.

We won't let this dominate ALL of our lives. :)

Starla said...

Oh wow. Gotta luv what greed does to people.
I'm glad you are putting your family first. That is how it should be. Good thoughts to you and your wife while battling for your IL's.
Enjoy the holiday with the grandkids!! Their joy of the season is infectious!!

ChangedbyHim said...

Sometimes the best advice or encouragement can only come from the God who made us so that is what I urge you to do now. I memorized this in college some 30 years ago and it is still with me:
Psalm 121
GOD'S WORD ® Translation
1I look up toward the mountains. Where can I find help?
2My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
3He will not let you fall. Your guardian will not fall asleep.
4Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps.
5The LORD is your guardian. The LORD is the shade over your right hand.
6The sun will not beat down on you during the day, nor will the moon at night.
7The LORD guards you from every evil. He guards your life.
8The LORD guards you as you come and go, now and forever.
Praying God will guide you and give you peace in your decisions,
Reva Hash (eCraft newbie)

Beth said...

I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I hope that this new year brings your family much needed peace and comfort.