I almost went to Rome today... but at the last minute, I decided to wait until Sunday.
It turned out that was a fortuitous decision. Late this morning, I found out from Wachovia that there were "complications" (their word, not mine) regarding the disbursement of the funds from Dad's IRA. The first two were lost paperwork issues... but since I was here in Marietta, I was able to fax replacements to the bank and get those problems solved. The second?...
Well, it appeared that someone at Wachovia interpreted the beneficiary clauses differently than everyone else thus far and had decided that the funds should be evenly divided between Kimberly and me. I could tell that Wachovia anticipated a fight--I guess a lot of people get really upset about the idea of getting less money from a relative's estate than they anticipated.
"So you want to give Kimberly half the money?" I asked.
"Yes, it appears so," they said.
"Great! Can you have a her a check this afternoon?"
Stammered confusion, then momentary silence.
"Ummm.... I think so. But you realize that this means that you will only be getting half as much as--"
"That's great! Kim's in a lower tax bracket than me, so she'll get to keep more of the money!"
And that settled that! Kim was going to get the money all along, whether through Wachovia or from me... this way, she gets to keep even more of it rather than losing more in taxes.
I remain amazed that there are families that will fragment over estates and wills and the like. And I am so thankful that Kimberly and I never been that way.