I'll Always Take Care of You Ch. 03bydoc87123©
The public has spoken, by an overwhelming margin the requests for me to continue this story line have won. I am working on the next chapter already, and am a little more than half-way done.
I had superb editorial help with this chapter from Epithet, a Literotica voluntary editor.
She's a professional editor, who used her talent to help me produce a much better story. I learned a great deal from our collaboration, and believe that my writing will now reflect that knowledge. Any problems with this story are probably things which I decided not to change to the way she recommended.
This chapter explains the provisions of the codicil to the will. The first half of the chapter will make no sense if you've not read the other two chapters. When you've finished, please send me your feedback and don't forget to vote.
I've always liked my attorneys. I don't like most of them as a general rule, but it's not all their fault. Earning their Juris Doctorate teaches them to tell their clients what they can't do. Very few of them learn that their job is to tell their clients how to do what they want. My lawyers had long ago learned this lesson.
The law firm I use is McFarland, Shane, Wilson, McFarland and Associates. The Senior Managing Partner is Jonathan R. McFarland. He was one of my Dad's oldest and closest friends. He is one of only two of my lawyers who came to dad's funeral; his son, J. R. Jr., is the other one.
Despite the difference in our ages, I always considered him as a friend, and his son as an older brother. I knew that they would always look out for my interests with the full weight of their firm. I was thinking of this background to our relationship as I walked into their impressive lobby nearly thirty minutes early.
I smiled to myself as I walked the long distance to the reception desk. Successful law firms always set up their offices to impress clients; huge offices with expensive furniture, beautiful secretaries and receptionists and large open reception areas with a long walk to the desk.
The receptionist who greets you is usually the first or second most beautiful young woman in the firm. The receptionist is also universally intelligent and intuitive. She is the first impression the firm gives a client, and a very important team member.
As I walked up to the desk she saw me and hurried around the desk, came up to me and held out her hand, saying, "Doctor Hamilton, it's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Laura and I'm to escort you to Mister McFarland's office."
Laura grabbed my arm and walked me down the wide hallway lined with the partner's portraits. I knew that it was her job to stroke my ego and that she had been extensively briefed, but I was flattered anyway. JR Jr. was just reaching the wide double doors to his dad's office as we approached.
"Hey Davey, it's great to see you. Dad will be here as soon as he can, he's just winding up our morning meeting." Junior said as Laura bid me goodbye and headed back to the reception area. I always enjoyed listening to Junior's voice. He'd picked up a slight Boston twang while he attended Harvard Law School to earn his JD.
We went into his dad's office and chatted while we waited. The senior McFarland joined us shortly, and Junior excused himself a few minutes later and left me with his dad.
The senior McFarland looked at me and said, "David, I've been looking forward to this meeting for a long time. Your dad left very specific instructions for this meeting, and I've been curious for a long time about how everything would play out. There are several separate sessions scheduled for today and I anticipate that you'll be here until three or four o'clock this afternoon."
I was stunned, I had no idea, from everything that I knew, why today's meeting would take so long. I adjusted myself to this reality and struggled to maintain a neutral expression, as dad had taught me.
I decided to ask the senior McFarland, "Do you have a schedule of the meetings?"
A smile crinkled his eyes as he told me, "Yes."
I waited for him to continue; however, he just stared back at me. His eyes had that maddening smile as he waited for me to talk. I finally realized that he had specific instructions not to answer my questions. Dad was throwing a final nearly day long test at me.
A wide smile split the elder McFarland's face as he said to me, "You figured it out already, didn't you?"
I nodded as he said, "I should have known better than to bet against your dad."
He opened up his wallet, handed me a dollar bill and said to me, "Your dad was one of my best friends and the smartest man I ever knew. He used to tell me that you were twice as smart as he ever was. He bet me a dollar that you'd figure it out within five minutes; but I thought you'd take at least fifteen, it took you less than four."
McFarland senior looked at me and smiled wistfully, "I really miss your dad, and he died much too young. I'm only now realizing just how smart he actually was. He used his ability to think, to see into the future. You'll learn more about your dad today than you knew before; I don't even know it all. When you get done for the day, stop in to see me and tell me what you can. I've got an office set up for you, a private place where you can hold your meetings. My personal secretary will hold down the fort up front for you, and junior promised to take you to lunch. Your first appointment should be here any time now, let me take you to your office and have Wendy get you a cup of coffee."
Fifteen minutes later, I was in a meeting with a gentleman names Denville (just call me Denny) Munson. Denny was short, overweight and sloppy-looking with thick; horn-rimmed glasses. Not at all what someone would picture as a high-ranking member of a prestigious bank. More than anything else he reminded me of the character played by Peter Falk, Colombo.
Denny was a vice president of dad's bank's Trust department. Denny looked at me and asked, "How much do you know about the assets in your dad's trust?"
"I actually know very little, practically no specifics. I'm nearly certain that that's the way dad wanted it. I know that he had several million dollars; but, nothing about the distribution." I said, keeping my face carefully neutral.
Denny pulled out a thick wad of green bar computer paper as he said to me, "We completed a full audit of your dad's assets in his personal trust Friday. The total estimate of the assets in that trust is approximately $441 million. That's after all fees, taxes, expenses and reserves. Today we'll take care of transferring title to all assets in this trust according to your direction."
"I understand that you have a little bit of business education and are able to read a simple spreadsheet." Denny said with a wry smile as he plopped town the two and a half inch thick stack of green bar paper in front of me. He put a sealed envelope on top of the stack of paper and said, "Your dad asked me to give this to you and have you read it before you went over any of the data. I don't know what's in it, but it was very important to him. He wanted me to leave you alone to go over this stuff. How long do you think you'll need?"
I glanced at the stack of paper, and then the envelope and said, "Give me about forty five minutes."
"Decisive and confident, I like that. If the science thing doesn't work out for you, talk to me. I'll give you a real job in banking. The only problem I see, is if you're anything like your dad, I'll be working for you six months after you start." Denny got up and headed for the door.
I asked him if he could ask Wendy to come in on his way out. He nodded and opened the door as I took everything over to the desk.
Wendy came in as I was beginning to open the letter and asked, "How may I help you Doctor Hamilton?"
"I'd like another cup of coffee and when you get back, please show me where the call light and the intercom are." I told her.
I opened the letter and began reading:
I hoped to be telling you all of this in person; but if you're reading this I didn't get a chance. I plan to rewrite this letter every year around your birthday, so that it's always up to date. If you're reading this, I didn't even make it to the first rewrite.
I knew that I was kind of old to be having my first child when you were born; but I loved you deeply. You were such a bright kid and never gave me any trouble. When you have children, I hope that you have one like yourself so that you will know the joy I feel every time I think of you.
I've got a lot of things I need to let you know that I purposely didn't tell you before. Today is a very important day for you. You have several decisions to make and not much time to make them. I have experts evaluating your decisions to see what type of person you have become. As you have guessed by now, this will be my last little test of you. I have no doubt that you will pass with flying colors; I believe you could have passed when I wrote this letter.
I plan to give this letter to a VP at the bank named Denny. If he either dies or leaves I'm sure that whoever takes his place will give it to you. If it is Denny, let me warn you, he is nearly as bright as you are. He may look rumpled but I'm sure that he spends extra money at the drycleaners to have them do that to his clothes. Many people have underestimated his ability to their sorrow. I trust his judgment and he is one of the people evaluating your performance today. Don't screw up, he'll see it.
You will have a few other meetings today. My advice to you is to do the right thing. We both know what that is, but you will have to decide on the spot under pressure, whereas I've had years to think about what those answers should be. I still have no doubt that you will pass.
All my love,
I had a tear in my eye as I looked up and saw Wendy coming in with my coffee. She showed me the two hidden signal buttons. We discussed signals and then she showed me how to use the intercom. I was ready for the rest of the meetings as soon as I scanned the data on the computer paper.
I put the letter in my inside suit coat pocket and went to work scanning the data from the spreadsheet. The first four pages were summary and the rest were a detailed breakdown of each individual line item. I was nearly through reviewing when the intercom interrupted me saying that Mr. Munson was back. I told Wendy to show him into the office in five minutes and quickly finished up.
When Denny came back in I felt that I would be able to handle any questions that he had, once he satisfied my curiosity about a few of the numbers that seemed out of proportion.
I'd used fourteen post-it sheets to mark the various pages with funny numbers, and one that I doubled up on to help me remember that it was totally unacceptable. We went through the items one at a time and he answered all of my questions except about the final item.
"That is an asset of no current value to the trust." Denny explained.
Even I could see that it was banker double talk. I wondered to myself if it had anything to do with my current test. I finally asked, "So, I familiarized myself with the data in the spreadsheet. I knew that you didn't need a detailed analysis since the time you gave me was totally insufficient, so let's get to the test."
Denny smiled and said, "I could train you to be an excellent banker. You caught in forty-five minutes all the obvious problems and one of the three subtle ones. It took me nine hours to find them all; but, I digress, your task awaits."
"Your father's will specifically excludes the girls. All of his assets are given to you. He loved the girls, but he wanted you to decide how to split up the assets from his personal trust after they had turned eighteen. Their grandparents are mercenary, and would have tried to take control of their fortune if they weren't of age to make their own decisions."
"Once they were specifically excluded, their grandparents didn't even contact them. I'm sure that your dad would have given the girls enough for them to be independent for the rest of their lives; but he has left it to you to take care of that division. The list of assets gives you a basis for making the decisions. Give me a framework and we'll set about dividing the assets according to your wishes."
I thought about that for a minute and then said, "I'd like to give Suzie, Jen and Jan fifty million each and Ellie one hundred million. That will leave me with enough to take care of everything in case something unexpected happens."
All people who have more than week to week money know that very little wealth is maintained as cash. We all have a checking account with a few hundred thousand and some liquid investments such as certificates of deposit that we can quickly convert in an emergency. Most of the rest of it is in investments. That is why whenever you hear about a millionaire's net worth it's always stated as an estimated net worth. The trust was actually mostly investments with varying degrees of risk and liquidity.
We spent the next several minutes assigning assets to transfer, and who to transfer them to. I split the risky investments with a greater potential reward and all the other investments in proportion to the total dollar amounts we all would have. I gave each of the girls two hundred thousand dollars of cash. Each of their new investments would generate a lot of cash for the new owner as well. Most of the money, the capital was unavailable to be spent, and would not be released until the girls either graduated from college or turned 25, whichever came first. It shouldn't be a big problem for them, since their income should be a minimum of two million dollars each.
When we finished, Denny picked up all the papers we'd used and left saying, "Someone will be in here in a few minutes, I've got to get all this stuff to the office."
A functionary from the bank, named Jerry came in when Denny left. He introduced himself and began shoving papers for me to sign in front of me. I sat looking at him until he figured out that I required both respect and courtesy. He looked at me blankly for a moment, realized what he was doing and then apologized. "It's no excuse; but I've had a really bad morning. These papers are for you to take over ownership of the trust. It allows you to make the decisions that are required by the codicil to your dad's will. I have to get them signed and recorded before we can take any action on your trust decisions. We are additionally interested in disguising the transactions. If the press catches wind of this, they'll be all over looking for who owns all this. Transfers of over one hundred million dollars set off all kinds of red flags in the financial world and people will be looking... I've seen your expenses, I know how you live. If anyone finds out your life will change. You'll have to move to a gated mansion with security. Everyone you meet will know that you have money. Think about what that means. Your life will be lived in the tabloids, it will be unpleasant."
Jerry brought up something I hadn't thought of before. I considered what he said after I signed all the papers and he left. I'd been a little hard on him; but, maybe he'd remember not to take out his problems on others.
I used the intercom to call Wendy and asked her to call junior about lunch. Junior said he'd be here in a couple of minutes and hung up. I drained the dregs from my coffee cup, stood up and put on my suit coat. Junior walked in just as I was ready, grabbed my arm and said, "Let's go," in his subtle Bostonian twang. "It's been a long time since I've seen you, Davey. What have you been up to?" He asked politely.
"I've been working really hard on one of our latest DOD projects. It's got a lot of people interested in the company. We may have to expand. We just had a 44-year-old Brigadier General Selectee come over with his team, to evaluate the project and the company. He found out that I was only seventeen at the time, and he was distressed when he found out my age, and that I had designed it. He almost choked when he had to call me sir," I said as we both laughed.
We got into his Jaguar and he drove to the restaurant. Whenever we went out together we always seemed to go to the same Chinese place. The food and service were great, and best of all it was busy but never crowded so that we could have a measure of privacy.
We were seated immediately; but we were soon joined by another man who seemed to know Junior. Junior stood, held out his hand and said, "Greg, you made great time, good to see you. I'd like to introduce you to David Hamilton. Davey, this is Gregory Wilson."
We all shook hands as Greg said to me, "Doctor Hamilton it's a pleasure to meet you. I've been looking forward to this for several years."
"How do you know me?" I asked both flattered and puzzled.
"I knew your father for a few years before his death. He bragged about you all the time. I was prohibited from meeting you any earlier. He didn't want me to let something slip about the situation prior to today." The last part was said quietly as he looked around ensuring our privacy.
Junior grinned as he saw my puzzlement and said to me, "Greg is a personal banker. I wanted you to meet him before your formal meeting after lunch. He's a really good friend and fellow Harvard alumni. He actually introduced me to my wife, Lynne."
Greg grinned at Junior and said, "I'm still not sure I forgive you for that. Once she saw you she forgot all about me."
Junior looked over at me and said, "It didn't slow him down at all, he went home from that party with five phone numbers and a really pretty girl."
Greg laughed, turned to me and said, "In my defense, I had to take her home, she couldn't remember her phone number."
By the time our meal came, we were all talking and laughing like old friends. Greg grilled me about my education and work experience. He seemed deeply impressed with my most unusual life path. He asked me questions about my various degrees, and listened with apparent fascination to my answers. Greg finally asked, "Is Ellen your sister?"
I carefully kept my face neutral as I said, "Yes, she's my oldest sister. I've got three other sisters too."
"I've seen her at the bank. I think she is the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. I tried to talk to her; but, she didn't seem interested at all. Is she seeing someone?"
"I pretty sure that she's serious about someone." I stated flatly.
Junior lit up when he heard this, "Ellen's seeing someone? You'll have to have us over to see her and her boyfriend."
"She's being very secretive about who she's seeing. I don't know if she'd want to get together; but I could always ask." I said, doing my best to look thoughtful.
We finished eating and wrapped up lunch. Junior grabbed the check and we left, headed back to the firm. Junior asked me, "So, what do you think of him?"
"Greg seems like a really nice guy. I don't know what it is about him, but I get the feeling that he can be trusted." I said.
"Your dad and I thought that you two would get along. You know my dad's instinct for people. Greg is one of the very few people he trusts with his money." Junior told me.
As we parked back by the office Junior said, "The tests are over now Davey, those of us who are set to evaluate you are going to meet briefly. You've got a quick meeting with a bank representative, and then Greg and I will be in there to talk to you."
Junior walked me back, and then continued on down the hall to a conference room. Jerry was there in my temporary waiting room. We went into the office, and Jerry pulled out a stack of papers for my signature and told me, "These are specific powers of attorney for you to deposit money into your sisters' new accounts and receive documentation to pass along to them. You've met Denny; he had them sign the papers first." Jerry gathered up the papers, putting them into his briefcase, and then said, "I'll be back before you leave to give you the completed paperwork, or Denny will bring them to you." He quickly walked out the door.