12-31-2011, 05:28 PM
The Piccucci estate probate hearing went on as scheduled despite the fact that two members of the contesting parties were deceased and the third was disqualified for murdering her husband, leaving only Casey Worth and the three surviving Piccucci children, Andrew, Matt, and Mick's daughter by Tina LaRue, Heather Piccucci. It was all over in ten minutes, to everyone's relief. Instead of the big overblown courtroom drama everyone involved had anticipated, it was more of an anticlimax.
The court ruled that the estate be liquidated and the cash be divided evenly between the four surviving parties. Thanks to the late Robert "Blusey" Bluseman's financial acumen and considerable knowledge of the tax system, the IRS claimed only a fourth of the estate, leaving each of them with one million, six hundred thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars. For a blue-collar girl like Casey Worth, it was still a windfall.
For Andrew and Matt Piccucci, their share of the inheritance was to be held in trust, to be claimed on their twenty-fifth birthdays. It also granted custody of the two brothers to a family friend in California.
Heather Piccucci was present at the hearing, but sat like a stone in her seat in the courtroom, standing only when the bailiff ordered everyone to do so when the judge entered. She heard the opening statements, the verdict by the court, and the dismissal, all without the slightest flicker of emotion. When the case was dismissed, she rose and seemingly faded into obscurity, as if ashamed to be seen by anyone.
Casey's mother, Sharon, was also present at the hearing. Though she was somewhat disappointed that her daughter didn't get the enitre estate, she was grateful that she still came out ahead by over a million dollars. Besides, the kids had to get something out of it, too, she told herself. No sense depriving them of their share. She rose when the hearing ended and embraced her daughter, both of them relieved that the whole ordeal was finally behind them.
As they left the courtroom, Sharon turned to Casey. "I left your father yesterday," she confessed.
Casey halted in her tracks, surprised at this sudden revelation. "You did?"
Sharon nodded. "He finally found out about the inheritance," she explained. "He and Benny found out about it on TV. They wanted it all for themselves, of course, but I told them that we're taking that money and starting over."
"We? As in you and me?"
"That's right, hon," Sharon nodded. "You can go to nursing school like you wanted, and we can get ourselves a nice little place of our own. I may even enroll in a few college courses myself--I always wanted to study business."
"What about Dad and Benny?" Casey asked.
Sharon shrugged. "What about them? They can fend for themselves from now on. I'm through waiting on them hand and foot."
"Personally," Casey said, smiling a little, "I don't blame you one bit."
Both mother and daughter smiled as they walked happily out of the courthouse and into their new life together.
"Detective Meridian here."
"Hello, Detective," said an older woman's voice. "This is Mrs. MacGrew from Social Services. You sent an Alicia Rose to us for temporary custody at our Youth Shelter yesterday afternoon."
"Well, it seems that Alicia has disappeared from the shelter," Mrs. MacGrew said. "Do you know where she could be."
Meridian rolled his eyes. "I'm pretty sure I know where she might be," he said.