The proceeds of my dad's condo were sent to me second day after closing. I was anxious to get the funds in the bank. I had received the EIN for the estate days before so I believed everything I needed to open his estate account was in order. I confirmed this with a phone call to my bank of choice and I was told to "come in", but when I showed up on a Saturday, I learned that the representatives that open estate accounts are only available Monday-Friday. It would've been nice if that was mentioned on the phone. Oh well. The agent set an appointment for the next Monday, and took copies of the documents to expedite the process. I arrived at my scheduled appointment and the rep sent off the documents to legal. This was after I received a call stating that I needed to bring in the originals because the copies would not suffice. Fortunately, I had them together already assuming that would be the case. All good - right?! Nope. The first snag was that one of the probate docs did not have a raised seal. Apparently, only a copy was issued by the courts. They were willing to waive it given the circumstances - court in another state and all, but then, they saw the other state was Illinois. This was a big problem. Illinois is one of the few, if not the only states, that require estate monies to remain in IL until probate has concluded.
I was at a national bank with branches in Nevada, Illinois and in all likelihood the rest of the 48 states. But the appointment came to a screeching halt. The account would have to be opened in Illinois. Period.
I had numerous conversations with the probate attorney prior to this and she failed to mention this detail. Even when I asked multiple times that there was nothing that would require my presence in IL. Needless to say, I was frustrated. I've now made two trips to the bank that were a complete waste of my time. I've spent a great sum to date that cannot be reimbursed until the estate account is open and I'm able to draw from it. Worst of all, I was looking at the added expense of a trip to Chicago or attorney fees to find a work around.
The universe took pity on me, I managed to find a flight to Chicago on Southwest the first week of November for $76 round trip. The fare was so inexpensive I easily had enough Rapid Rewards to cover it. Though, I was completely out of time off, my boss approved my two day absence given the circumstances. My only real expense was the rental car I picked up at Midway. This was considerably cheaper than the legal fees so the choice was easy, even if it meant - Chicago in November. Brrr. I faced a real chance of snow and blustery cold.
There were frost warnings the week before my trip. I whined about it every chance I got, it was 80's in Vegas. I wanted no part of the cold. But it was there to greet me on arrival. It was an incredibly wet weekend too, but I was fortunate that the temps never dipped below freezing so I didn't encounter snow. Small victories.
When I got into town I took the shuttle to the rental car facility. It was extremely busy for it being one o'clock in the morning. All sorts of high school kids and their families were in town for some sort of hockey tournament. You couldn't walk without tripping over a hockey stick. I happened to be (proudly) wearing my Vegas Golden Knights hoodie, but no one acknowledged it (boo). After sorting out the paperwork, I was given the choice of two vehicles in the lot. My first pick was a Mitsubishi which I quickly learned that it had bad brakes and a check engine light illuminated. So, that was a no go. The other vehicle was a Hyundai with a missing a back license plate. I was paranoid the whole trip that I was going to be pulled over. It was a relief when I returned the vehicle without incident. I know it was a busy weekend, but I really would expect better from Alamo. In fairness, I've only had good experiences in other cities.
I had a bad case of butterflies prior to the appointment I had scheduled with the bank. I was nervous there'd be some sort of hiccup that would prevent me from opening the estate account. I stopped at the attorney's office to pick up the original documents that they had been received from court the week before per my request. I could breath a little easier with those in hand. The representative that assisted me at the bank had the title of Vice President, but he had no experience opening an estate account. This did not put me at ease. Fortunately, I did have experience, I was able to walk him through what he would need to send to legal so we could get started. Legal provided the support to get things done on their end. It took forever... and a day. But it was done. Hallelujah. I was able to deposit a whole stack of checks. Plus cash from the sale of my dad's car. My mother-in-law sold it the week before, I was so thankful. If it hadn't been sold, I planned to donate it while I was in town.
With my mission accomplished I was free to visit friends and family. I also worked in my mother-in-law's shed organizing belongings from my dad's condo, and I worked to clear items I left cluttering her garage. As I sorted, I picked out as much as I could safely pack in suitcases to bring back to Vegas. I couldn't let two free checked bags on Southwest go to waste. However, I was nervous the bags would be lost in transit. I packed the items of actual value in my carry on and I checked the sentimental items. I was relieved when I was reunited with all my luggage back at McCarran. I don't think I've ever traveled so heavy in my life. I don't know people do it regularly.
It was nice to catch up with old friends and spend time with family that I haven't seen in way too long. Satisfying cravings always hits the spot too. I consumed many bowls of creamed soups. Whatever the variation - I miss them so. It was also a nice treat to see the fall foliage. We don't get much of a show living in the desert so the colors were quite beautiful. One afternoon I took a ride to Lake Katherine which is a large park with prairies and wetlands that are situated a 10 acre lake. I hadn't been there in nearly 20 years. It was pretty muddy and many leaves had already fallen and the colors weren't as spectacular as I hoped, but it was a scenic stroll along the lake.
As far as I know, this was my last major hurdle. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The past three months were extremely demanding and they've left me weary. Despite it all, I was able to catch several breaks. For that, I am thankful.