round and round...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where there's a Will...

I wrote our Last Will and Testament recently. It includes very little about assets (pretty easy to gloss over that part when you don't have many of them) and details about things that are so adult and mature and responsible they make my head spin. Things like who will be our child's guardian if something catastrophic were to happen to both Matthew and me? Who will be the executor of our will/estate? Who will be the secondary guardian if something catastrophic happens to the primary guardian? What do we want our advanced healthcare directive to say? When do we want artificial life support and when do we want nature to take its course (previously this was very cut & dried for me... but previously I didn't have a baby on the way - that changes everything)? These are things that are important to get into writing, even though the mere thought is extremely painful.

I wrote it out while Matthew was at a meeting and then we went over it when he got home. It's so basic, it hardly took any time at all, but it was tough to do. Our only assets as 30-somethings who rent our home are our car, M's guitars, and my retirement accounts. Not much when you add it all up. The easy part was thinking about who would get what should we both die. That took all of 5 minutes. The difficult part was typing out who would care for our child if we're both gone. The answer to that question is so obvious that it took a split second to make, but it took about half an hour and many lumps in the throat to type up.

Understatement: It's hard to think about your own mortality. It's even harder to think about not being around to raise your unborn child. Does it get heavier than that? I don't think so. Sitting down and writing up the plan for your child's care if you're dead is an awful thing to have to do. But it had to be done. No question about it. It wouldn't be right for us to skip along willy nilly and not have anything in writing - it would be irresponsible.

So, after our very adult evening spent writing up our Will we had a very adult conversation with 2 of our best friends this past weekend. Conveniently, they're married to each other, so that works out well. One was asked to be our executor and the other was asked to be the secondary guardian (in case my sister in law, the primary guardian, isn't around) with the understanding that they act as a partnership and do both as a team. We cried about it, we laughed about it, and then we ate lunch. They were honored and we were relieved and now it all feels exactly as it did before - we always assumed these friends would take care of our kid if we kicked it, but assuming and knowing are two different things. It's important to have it in writing and have the understanding out in the open.

I encourage you to write up a little something about what you'd like to happen if something awful were to happen to you even if you don't have children. It's amazing how emotions cloud family members' judgment when catastrophe comes calling and it's better for all involved to lay it out on paper. It's no picnic to do, but you'll be glad you did.

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8 What people are saying:

Blogger Monogram Queen rambles...

You know i'm ashamed to say this is something i've STILL put off...

3/10/2009 09:17:00 AM

 
Blogger Sandra rambles...

Good point. I learned that in MN at least, it's not possible to leave money directly to one's pets, so I have my will written that the care and decisions regarding my animals goes to my beneficiaries.

3/10/2009 10:51:00 AM

 
Blogger Retro Girl rambles...

We did this once when we got married..(before a child was ever in the picture) as far as our goods, our estate, executors, etc. But we need to sit down and re-do most all of it!

We have already chosen very close friends who have 2 young boys to be Isaac's guardian if we should pass away...but there are so many other things to consider. You're right - it's alot to think about, and pretty Heavy Duty...but something we all should do, and not put off.

3/10/2009 12:11:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynilu rambles...

It is hard to do that. Once done, I felt such a relief. Yes, everyone should do it, even if they have little to designate. The advance directive is essential. I even spelled out the basics of funeral plans so my kids wouldn't have to make those decisions. After a death of a loved one, it is very hard to do that.

Good for you. Sobering, I know, but responsible and loving. :)

3/10/2009 01:59:00 PM

 
Blogger Melissa rambles...

Patti - My parents *just* finished theirs. They always had an verbal agreement with my aunt & uncle that if anything should happen to either couple that the others would step in as guardians of kids & pets. Well, all the kids are grown now and all their pets have crossed the rainbow bridge, so it was time to put something together that addressed the assets questions. That's what promted me to get ours done. Ain't no shame in it, girl! ;-)

Sandra - Thanks for the reminder - I need to add the part about Duke. Aww, the Dukester. I totally had a hysterical crying fit the other day because I thought about him not always being around. He's 5. Good lord, I am SO pregnant.

RG - Very well put. Something we all should do. It's amazing how little beings who completely rely on you for everything change your perspective. ;-)

Lyn - Sobering, indeed. Basic funeral plans are a great thing to add. No one wants to think about their own mortality, but even people in perfect health have accidents and advance directives can save much heartache. Smart lady, you are.

3/10/2009 06:17:00 PM

 
Blogger Anisa rambles...

Wow, you are such a grown-up! I have thought about this before, but haven't done it. We rent and no kids yet, but I know the day will come...with lots of tears too I am sure.

3/12/2009 02:07:00 PM

 
Blogger Anisa rambles...

P.S. I think blogger wants you to name your baby Ramona...my word below was "remona" so I'm just passing along the message. ;)

3/12/2009 02:08:00 PM

 
Blogger Sandra rambles...

I still vote for "Sophocles".

3/12/2009 02:42:00 PM

 

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