If the champagne glasses have been filled to the brim for the celebration, it could mean a dead person cooperated with your goal of enriching yourself.
Moreover, if you’ve stalled long enough and hired a slimy enough lawyer to postpone guardianship proceedings by going to the Caribbean while Auntie rots in a hospital bed, for those hoping to end up with the spoils of elder abuse, who would have thunk it – a corpse en route to the morgue could end up saving the day.
If it appears the chaos is winding down and you get a letter from a lawyer canceling court dates, it’s likely Granny has met her Maker, and the family you stole from won’t be calling you, sending you a message by email, or inviting you to a memorial service.
Not to worry, because missing the festivities actually works in your favor. Being left out of the loop spares you the embarrassment of having to explain to grieving relatives why you keep breaking out into a spontaneous, uncontrolled happy dance.
If things keep going your way, despite finagling yourself into the position of power of attorney or executor of a ravaged estate, in the end, rightful heirs hoping to recoup what was stolen from their parents will be the ones saddled with the funeral and leftover medical bills and deprived of Mom’s or Dad’s personal effects.
One can only hope that after packing up old shoes, false teeth, empty pocketbooks and cardboard boxes filled with Mom’s or Dad’s ashes, out of sheer exhaustion, shock, and bitter disappointment the bereaved will choose to give up the fight.
So clink away with those new Crate and Barrel champagne glasses – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Even still, it’s only normal to mourn the loss of a beloved cash cow, because there’s nothing worse than when an endless stream of money is suddenly cut off. It can also be heartbreaking when, for the first time in years, an inheritance hijacker has to actually purchase their own kitty litter or pay for Five Guys hamburgers out of their own pocket.
So, with those things in mind, it’s easier than one would think to feign sadness over an untimely death. However, if thieves with PhDs still have trouble pretending to be distressed, it’s helpful for them to keep thinking about the fact that, thanks to Aunt Gracie kicking the bucket, there’s no one left to pay little Johnny’s parochial school bill.
Even still, until court proceedings are formally discontinued, it is advisable that immediately following the death of the person whose estate you’ve confiscated you should maintain a modicum of fake grief.
In the interim, it’s important for the savvy thief to remember that, together with the prompt deposit of large bank transactions and the transfer of assets into someone else’s name, valuable items in china closets and jewelry boxes should be gathered up and pawned for cash without delay.
With that accomplished, one foolproof way to maintain the ruse of the grief-stricken relative is, on or around the day of the death of the person you robbed, to find some sympathetic sap whose shoulder you can cry on.
If at all possible, wear black to work and, at some point while leaning against the vending machine, weep uncontrollably. If tears refuse to come, just think of how close you came to getting caught and the grateful ‘thank you Jesus’ waterworks should start right up.
Through it all, make sure to take care of yourself. For those about the business of thievery it’s imperative to remember that after lying, conniving, and ripping off the innocent, spending other people’s money can be downright exhausting. No one knows better than an inheritance thief how tiring it can be swiping debit cards through credit card readers and ATMs all day.
Yet, regardless of how coldhearted and selfish a person is, following the death of a forgetful check-writing relative it’s often difficult to fall asleep.
Typically, between wakefulness and REM, remnants of remorse can creep in. Worse yet, when trying to drift off, robbers can be robbed of much needed rest with thoughts of what it will be like one day when they are old, gray, and demented and someone else’s twisted offspring back-stabs their unsuspecting heir.
Or if, God forbid, something awful should happen in the future, and thoughts of “Is this because…?” jostle the heart.
Which is why it is important to remember: If karma threatens to rob you of your peace, you can always tucker yourself out and expend energy by pushing that “What goes around, comes around…sowing and reaping” nonsense right out of your mind.
If sleep still refuses to come, another trusty plan is to utilize your reticular activating system and revisit some of the untruths you convinced yourself of when you were doing the unthinkable.
If need be, rustle up a steaming mug of tryptophan, pop some Melatonin, light a scented candle, and thank your dead relative for saving your ass by dying. To get your mind off funerals, surrogate court, and how to redeem your bad reputation, play a few hands of online poker and try to win back a few of the bucks you lost last week.
You can always fall back on taking a hot bath, where with a wire brush you can tire yourself out trying to get the ATM pin number tattooed on your wrist to rub off. Scribbling “I am a good person…I am a good person” a hundred times on an old bank withdrawal slip is also an excellent way to bide time, all the while remembering that above all, you deserve to be rewarded for all the great accomplishments and charitable things you’ve done for those whose lives you’ve ruined.
Finally, if tossing and turning continues to plague you, instead of sheep, slide that big metal lockbox you have out from under your bed and spend a few hours counting family money that doesn’t belong to you, which is an exercise that should lull your sorry butt right to sleep.