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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Planning For Alligators

Chuck and I are off to our attorney tomorrow. It’s been about a decade since we had our wills and all the attendant documents drawn up. Having gone through a rather lengthy process after Chuck’s Dad passed away last February, we are acutely aware of how important it is to dot all the “I”s and cross all the “T”s. Milton was very well organized, but even he lost track of a few details. Thankfully, while he was in his prime and full powers, he worked with a wonderful attorney in Seattle who thought of darn near everything. The few hiccups we have encountered (one of which is still hanging fire) have been sorted out by either Chuck or his sister. The two get along beautifully and have been consistently on the same page - both prior to Dad’s passing and ever since.

But because Chuck and I have no children, the burdens of our estate will fall to other relatives. It’s one thing to plough through a mound of paperwork and legal documents on behalf of your parents. But it really is something quite different to do it for your aunt and uncle. So our goals tomorrow are twofold: One - to make sure all of our estate documents are fully up to date and reflect our wishes within the confines of the current laws of the Commonwealth; and Two - to do everything we possibly can to make the eventual settling of our estate as streamlined and automatic as possible for our executor and heirs. If there were a way for us to magically handle it for them after we have been eaten by alligators and buried, we would! But, alas, we will have to trust our brilliant, thoughtful, excellent attorney to get us as close to that wish as reality will allow!

10 comments:

dancingmorganmouse said...

Good for you, now, if I could only drag Mr Brown to the table ... he's a bugger for avoiding the grim!

Roo said...

I'm with Mr Brown.. can't it wait a few more years???? ;o) But good on you Lee, don't fancy organising me and Peter too?????

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
The first go round is hard - no two ways about it. But there is such peace of mind afterwards that it is definitely worth it! This review and tweak is definitely easier.
;o)
- Lee


Hi Roo -
You know I would love to help you and Peter any way I can! The only thing I can't do is clone our attorney and she is a dream to deal with on these matters.
;o)
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

Roo, you need to think "what happens if I get hit by a buss? I did my first one just before surgery, convinced I'd die under the knife!

Sue said...

I am all for having a proper will in place. Jacques and I had one drawn up just before we got married, but never received a copy from our lawyer, who then moved overseas. Fortunately, his partner was still in SA and I was able to get hold of a copy through him. Still, there were a few stressful moments of wondering where our will was and what would happen if it couldn't be found - it would've been a nightmare!! I have a very functional will in place, a lawyer for a cousin and a chartered accountant for a sister. Jake's too young to manage finances, so everything will go into a trust until he turns 25. Scary to think along these lines, but I'm all too aware of how suddenly life can change and better to be prepared.

Hope it all went OK.
Sue xxx

Sue said...

PS. Roo - you really need to get yourself sorted in this department. ASAP!! It's really not something to mess around with...

barbie2be said...

great that you are planning ahead! i can't stress the need for it. my father dieds without a will in the middle of a nasty separation with my mother. while she did her part to ease tensions my oldest brother thought that he deserved all the money rather than splitting it with myself and my other brother.

Pink Granite said...

Hi All -
Sorry Roo, It's not that we're ganging up on you - - - - it's just that we're ganging up on you!
On a serious note, over here, the rights of same sex couples vary by state. So Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies and so on are important for everyone, but vital for same sex couples. Hopefully, the United Kingdom is more enlightened legally, than we are!

DMM - Before a surgery, back in another lifetime, I experienced the same fear - but didn't have the good sense to act as you did and draw up a formal will!

Sue - Your story is an important one for all of us to heed. It was so smart of you and Jacques to draw the wills up before you were married. It's also good that you were eventually able to locate them after Jacques passing. And the arrangements you've made for Jake sound so sensible.


Hi B2B - What a dreadful situation! We've been so fortunate that not only did Chuck's parents plan well in advance, but he and his sister work well together. It would be so awful to add family in-fighting on top of the grief.

- Lee

Roo said...

Blimey - ok, I will make it a priority to talk to "he who can ignore" and get sorted this year. And I know it sounds dumb that it scares the hell out of me, seeing I go cold when someone starts talking of either burial or cremation, I suppose like others if I don't think about it it won't happen.

I make a promise now that we will look at getting things sorted this year.

Mind you as for getting hit by a bus, not likely, as we have the crappiest public transport system this side of the moon in our town. ;o)

Sue said...

HAHAHA - good for you Roo!! You'll feel better once you've dealt with the dreaded! It's not that bad once you get around to it, I promise. I didn't expect to be on my own at the age of 27 with a tiny baby to care for, so the fact that we had a will made things move a lot smoother.

barbie2be - I can't imagine the stress of having to deal with all that as well as the death of a parent!!

Lee - great post, got lots of attention ;)