Legally Blinding

Syd Stone looked across at the vultures sitting around the boardroom table.
Joanna was right, she didn’t know any of them.
The funeral had taken some arranging, but it had gone off without a hitch, the Book of Condolence duly signed by all attendees as requested during the service.
Now, some four weeks later, the Will was about to be read and Joanna’s family had come out of the woodwork for a share.
With both parents dead, Joanna as the eldest had inherited the ailing family business.
Her brothers and sisters had wanted it sold and a cut of the proceeds, but Joanna had instead given them shares to do with as they wished and within five years had turned it around.
However, her siblings had sold them as soon as the twelve month stipulation clause had passed, little knowing that it was Joanna herself who had bought them when they came on the market, thus making her the sole shareholder.
They had shown no interest or had any contact with her at all since.

Syd stood, and having gained their attention, said
“Shall we begin?”
before resuming her seat.
The bored looks spoke volumes as the usual bequests to staff and friends were disclosed. It equated to several tens of thousands of pounds.
“And now for my family…………..”.
Interest sparked in the glinting eyes of the greedy, and they sat, hands demurely clasped in front of them, eager to accept their due.

Syd paused and reached for her glass.
“To my family, “ she continued “I bequeath the cost of their attendance to my funeral”.

The scraping of chairs and shouting match that followed would actually have had Joanna laughing her socks off. Syd was bemused at how well her client had anticipated their reaction.
“We’ll contest it!” they cried in unison.
“She can’t do that. We’re family!”
“That can’t be right. We’re entitled, it was the family business, We were shareholders.”
“Exactly,” Syd replied calmly “Were. You no longer have a say or stake in the company which has already been sold and the proceeds given to the Cancer Charity as per Joanna’s instructions.”
“It’s not legal!” boomed Dennis. “ I want to see a lawyer!”
“It’s very legal… Dennis, is it? It was drawn up by a judge who happened to be a personal friend of your sister’s, then witnessed and notarized by the best lawyers. It’s airtight.”
One by one they slumped back into their seats.
“I have cheques here for all of you to cover your expenses the day of the funeral, calculated from the address details of your entries in the Book of Condolence. I think you’ll find them quite generous as they include travel, overnight accommodation and meals. Joanna didn’t want any of you to be out of pocket for being inconvenienced.”

Blinded by anger, they filed out amid statements of ‘The Bitch!’ and ‘How dare she!’
Syd sat back in her swivel chair knowing the cheques would be cashed within hours and smiled at the picture of her benefactor.
It was Joanna who had supported her in the beginning of her career some fifteen years before and helped set her up in legal practice. They had become close friends.
Joanna had come to her for legal advice of her plans when the cancer had returned and she only had a few months to live.
The Will was indeed extremely legal.
Syd’s Dad was a judge, and her brothers lawyers, however, not the judge or legal team that had drawn up the document. That would’ve been too easy to overturn as a conflict of interest. Joanna, bless her, had anticipated that too.
Syd raised her glass in a sad but respectful toast.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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15 Responses to Legally Blinding

  1. foguth says:

    I always love ‘divine justice’.

    • I woke up with this idea this morning, but it’s taken a while to put it in print. Fairweather family, only around when it benefits them……… or not.

      • foguth says:

        Uncle Charlie passed a few years ago. My sister was his caregiver prior to his passing – she lived a couple block away. I was living in Central America. His last few years were marred by dementia, so between her job and helping him, she had her hands full. His funeral was attended by cousins we hadn’t seen in years. About 4 in the morning, she was woken from a sound sleep by pounding on the door – some drunken cousins demanded that she give them the keys to the house so they could get mementos… they also expected to inherit the house, despite the fact that they hadn’t even sent a Christmas card in decades.
        I was very happy to be out of the country.

      • Family politics. We all have our fair share.

      • foguth says:

        Gives us something to write about, doesn’t it?

  2. I enjoyed this. Nicely written!

  3. Michael says:

    Great yarn Di, loved it…

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