Installment #5 re: The Continuing Saga of a Family’s Destruction Caused by Greed.

Narrator: Francis (Frank) T. Sganga …

This sad story can be found in its entirety at:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Way back in 1960, wife Babs and I bought a large Bayfront lot for $500 (Now worth $150,000!)
and soon thereafter had a home custom built that cost $17,000 (Now worth $250,000) where we
raised our four kids. Several years later we bought a lot adjoining ours, for $3,500 (I turned
down a $100,000 offer to sell it just a few years ago) that separated our property from a
city-owned park.

My recalcitrant kids still refused to accept Jeanie as family some 8 months after I married her.
However, we still maintained “a running battle” via exchanges of emails. In one of them, lawyer
son Brian suggested that I sign a “life-estate deed” that, in the event of my death, he would
acquire the house Jeanie and I lived in, and daughter Clare would acquire the adjoining lot.
I did without even reading the thing because I completely trusted him and thought that doing so
would bring us all back together again as family. I also thought it would be alike a “will”
where I could change my mind, if necessary.

Soon thereafter, it occurred to me that signing the deed would put Jeanie in jeopardy, since
in the event of my death, and the fact that they would not accept her, Brian would get the
house and THROW JEANIE OUT! So, when I went to the courthouse to change the wording of the
deed, I was told I couldn’t do it, and that I would have to get my lawyer’s help.

Then came the shocking news, I needed to get Brian and Clare to agree to deed the properties
back to me. As things stood, I couldn’t even sell the properties if I had to. Also, the lawyer
told me he didn’t do life-estate deeds that way by locking in his client as Brain did me.

After requesting my kids to return of my property to my control to protect Jeanie from being
homeless, I received this email letter from Clare:

Dear Dad:
I hope Jean’s surgery goes well, and that she is strong again soon. I know you are
very concerned about her. Steve and I are sincerely pleased that you have found
someone compatible to share your life with.
Please re-read the letter that we, your children wrote to you and see that we all
agree about the need you both have for a soulmate as each of us do also.
I forgive the cruel statements you have made in your letters, such as the “Sganga blood”
sentence; “us placing greater need on properties than on you; Failure to communicate.”
You have not telephoned since January, I have called regularly and sent you gifts. You
have known me for almost 54 years now and know that I am not a greedy person, nor is Steve.
This is not about greed.
You want to take away the Sganga homestead that you and mother promised was to be your
children’s and future generations. Who wants to disinherit whom? Brian and I both were
hoping to continue sharing Turnbull Bay with Rachel. Mary Scott and your future grandchildren
and great grandchildren. And you want to give everything away? The grief we are all feeling
is mutual.
Why do you feel the need to give away everything entirely? We do not understand where all
this is coming from. Again, please re-read our letter to you and you will see our hearts
are still caring. “Promises, commitments and family are to withstand changing times.”
Love, Clare
Notice the give away everything entirely sentence. That tells it all. Suppose I gave it all
to charity? Would they be as upset? Who cares? It’s for me to decide, not them. They don’t
need the money or the property. I wasn’t going to get into a letter-writing contest, but felt
I had to do it one more time. e-mailed this to Clare, copies to Brian and Laura:

My response:

Dear Clare:
I do not want to get into what has happened or has been said in the past, or what I did or you
did regarding communications between us. Brian’s not calling me in over a month is inexcusable,
especially since he told me he would return the house to my control as we chatted around the pool.
No mention was made about what would happen to Jeanie if I croaked and he owned the house.
Presumably then, he would tell her to get out. I waited for you to respond to my e-mail request
for return of control of my property, and the totally unexpected response was no.
You say you all grew up here. So what! Where can your kids say they grew up? Where is Rachel growing
up? Will she have fond memories of that home her Dad abandoned and which Jackie will probably sell?
All of your arguments are superficial, including telling me about Rachel’s reaction to the pictures
in Mom’s room being gone. I removed those of my parents and Mom’s because it was now Jean’s room, and
what’s the point of having pictures of four dead strangers staring at her?
I am attached to Jeanie as much as you are to Steve, and Brian is to Missy, and Laura is to Don. Would
any of you leave your spouses out in the cold? Your use of the house is frivolous compared to her need
for it, should she survive me, which is not guaranteed. None of you really need it.
Mother’s death changed everything regarding my situation. Finding another companion, (or my “live-in-lover”
as you insultingly called her) has been a blessing. I believe Laura poisoned the water, and is mainly
responsible for the current family fiasco. I have spoken to many people, including my buddies at racquetball
and my attorney, and they all shake their heads in disbelief; they can’t believe my children would put property
ahead of their father, which is exactly what you are doing, no matter how you try to rationalize it.
I am angry that you are choosing property over me. My reasoning is simple: If you had simply signed the
quit-claim deed, there would have been no need for all of this hogwash. Why you can’t see this is beyond me.
I will be seeing my attorney Tuesday to tell him to proceed with my case against Brian and the way he conned
me out of my property. (Why hasn’t he contacted me to argue otherwise?)
Once we go to court, we will have crossed the point of no return; it will be all over between us. It’s tragic,
considering how happy we were as a family, but you three have got me trapped in a corner, and I intend to fight
my way out. You should have known I would. I feel as betrayed as Caesar did when he was stabbed in the back by
his “friend” Brutus.