The First Text message

Sent Via iPhone.

Hi Benjamin
Just spoke with XXX at ZXZ Legal.
Can you confirm no will found ?
Only Doc XXX has is a codicil 1986.
If no will we are interstace and therefore require an executor.
Can you email via Buckley ( another brother)  re this potential Complexity?
ZXZ Legal saying no will in archives.
Sorry about this if I have preempted things and you have extant Will naming ZXZ as executor.
Sent this to you to prevent garbled message from Buckley.

A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded. Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man— even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?  
Ecclesiastes 6.



07 06 2017

Hi Ben.
This correspondence is becoming worthy of a Tolstoy Novel.  Some friends who have read it think it is worth publishing as an example of a fractured family dynamic. I am thinking seriously of sending it to a publisher. Happy to share royalties with you. ( joke )

Para One

“I cannot be assured that you won’t blunder around like a bull in a china shop with the issue and make matters worse. “.

Mate this is defamatory and also avoidant.

Can you please as requested provide the “legal advice” you are receiving so my advisors and I have some idea where you are with this?

Para Two 

The mediation will help us decide the identity of the Administrator when that becomes necessary as a final attempt at gaining agreement if all other avenues fail

Chattels are a separate issue and I have no intention on mediating over on Valuable items under 5k in value as the cost-benefit analysis makes the Mediation costs prohibitive.

Para Three 

I am well aware of your position.  However, I have told you this at least five times:  all three of your siblings want an independent administrator if possible.  This position has not changed in nine months 

The legal position has changed now the simplest easiest route is for a Family member to be named administrator and then have XYZ do the legal and practice and procedural work. If it is possible to reframe an application making XYZ the administrator without extensive costs delays and extensive legal argument, then I am also open to that possibility, but it remains at this stage unclear. 

Para Four 

Unclear as to what you mean here.  If you are talking about my reputation, I certainly agree with you, and you appreciate that I will actively defend it should that become required.  As to issues of my integrity, you can leave those to me.  Unsure as to the remark about XYZ – XX and XB are not judicial officers, nor am I looking to work for them now or in the future. 

My understanding is that when you are accepted into the Legal profession in our state, you become a Judicial officer. To use a Legal Firm for extensive advice under a cost agreement and then take a third far more expensive option, e.g., The Public Trustee is in my view unethical and would damage our reputation. You state you do not want to work for GV in the future, that may be the case, but as you know Southern Albany is a small town and the Legal world even smaller, it should be in all our interests to maintain our families reputation.

Para Five 

if I can get a clear picture of everyone’s legal position as it stands currently then this will assist.

As previously stated on many occasions, I am not your legal adviser.  When I reach a view, I will share my proposal with you as a fellow beneficiary.  You can take your own advice.

Again avoidant. I requested you share your legal advice and research you are giving me no information and not being transparent.

You write:  Re chattels [sic] will respond separately right now we need to stop delaying …

I agree.  I have been waiting for eight weeks for an appropriately coded inventory to be returned from you.

Regarding the coding of chattels, I will use the filters I have set in the way I have designed them and send you the amended codes when I have completed them. As you know the issue regarding the storage, the costs, the inventory and the system you have designed is all in dispute. I am happy to use the inventory you have supplied and the suggested codes with my filters and notations. You can either accept them or not. I will code them and send them in good faith in the way I have chosen to code and filter them. You may find that when received they assist greatly in the speedy settlement.  As you continue to state that chattels can only be determined after Probate and Administration are determined the important issue at the moment is to get the Administration in place.

To put in an offer using anticipated distributions from an estate that hasn’t even been put under administration yet was incredibly foolish.  You clearly are not receiving good advice or not heeding it if you are.  You are very lucky that the offer wasn’t accepted before you withdrew it, which may have made you liable for breach of contract.  Seek your own advice, but doing something like this again before final distribution is made would be very unwise.

Previously you have made a comment about my family affairs regarding Miranda’s wedding. Regarding our financial and housing affairs the offer made was conditional on finance. You say you are not my legal advisor. Again you try to give unwanted, unwarranted advice regarding Financial matters. Luckily other possibilities and contingencies were factored into this situation. Having managed businesses, I do have some understanding of Finance. Please refrain from making non-positive comments on self-disclosed family issues in the future.

I have previously made clear to you that the possibility of consent to your being appointed administrator is zero.  Such an application by you would put us into the contentious stream and costs would immediately start running on all sides.  I am keen to make a decision once my issue has been resolved.

The application I would make would be based not on consent but as a last resort after all other avenues have been tried. It would only be made if you  Buckley and Helen decide that you want to part ways with GV, not have a family member appointed, e.g., yourself  Buckley or Helen and insist on the Public Trustee. If that occurs due to costs and the time factor I believe a Court may find that estrangement exists, all parties are not acting in Good Faith and that it may be approved. The costs of opposing a family members application as opposed to the Public Trustee would not be borne by the Estate. It remains an open option especially if XYZ are prepared to honour the costs agreement.

This option is a final resort, and I am sure that we will not have to approach this possibility, but that is my position on Public Trustee.

I am not going to respond immediately to every panicked and repetitive email you send. 

“This is intrusive and unwelcome receipt of more statements like this is likely to accelerate a breakdown of communication between us.”

As a fellow beneficiary, there is no obligation on me to respond to you within any specific timeframe, or at all. 

How does this assist us in speedy, transparent, open communication and resolving the estate?

Should we achieve a professional administrator, be aware that there is no way that they are going to respond to the sheer volume of email correspondence that you churn out in anything like the timeframes that you appear to demand of me.

Once the legal issues are settled, we have the administration in place and a timeline regarding practice and procedure then correspondence will be business like. A third party reading our email exchanges would say  that my responses and emails have been on the whole what would be expected of an estranged party, especially as response times and a refusal to negotiate via voice or text chat has required this volume of emails many of which would not have been required if you would communicate via phone or text chat.

?  If you have new proposals, properly thought through, then share them,

You will receive an email in the next 24 hours that should cover all contingencies including a memorandum. I hope that when received you will respond appropriately and promptly.

I will revert to you once I have more information.

It would greatly assist me if you could let me know the Legal position and the issues you have regarding Administration either by GV or yourself before Monday 12 June.

If this is not possible can you please indicate when this advice is likely to be received and your position crystallised.

 I do not want to place a timeframe on it as it is unlikely to be respected but can you indicate when you are likely to have your position finalised. That way I can then decide whether I need separate Legal advice.

Also as requested can you please write to me using Richie, not Richard. I have requested this a number of times and not respecting this request is not honourable.

We can work this out your email today did not on the whole assist with this.

Cheers Richie

This only have I found:
    God created mankind upright,
    but they have gone in search of many schemes.’
Ecclesiatces 7.