Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just Incase

Cooper mentioned a while back making legal preparations for his family, in case of tragedy. It made me think, while I’d rather have equal rights for my family, we have benefitted by having to be extra cautious with the law here in Utah.

As soon as we knew we were to be parents, we created a family trust and moved most our assets into it. We considered all the possibilities, all those tragic scenarios. What if I die tomorrow? How long before I’ve “gifted” each year to Rob (my spouse! the guy who takes care of our family!) enough money without being taxed, to be sure he could keep our home if tragedy strikes? And so on. Much of it stuff most families don’t have to deal with, but it is near a necessity for gay parents.

Before our boys were even in their nursery, we had designated, in order, three trusted couples to take custody of them if anything happened to us both. We both set and notarized our wills and made clear our wishes (pretty easy with twins, a 50/50 split). We even detailed what would happen to us in that vague land between life and death, to avoid any Terri Schiavo scenarios. Finally we had to work out what to do with our bodies: back to ashes for us both, to be spread at the same place, a place to be decided by the survivor (or our favorite overlook in Moab, if there is no survivor).

We’ve personally known a couple cases where a LDS family here has stepped in and created a funeral against the wishes of the deceased and their sinful SSA co-sufferer of a “boyfriend”. With no legal record, there's little to be done in that case. While near all in our families are very unlikely to do such a thing, you just never know who’ll be left to take care of your affairs. It’s just nice knowing there is a legal document out there that says we’re supposed to end up together… and for Rob’s part, that he’s not to be put into temple clothes; he’s known parents to do that.

I know all that can seem pretty morbid, and I can see why it’d make many young couples uncomfortable. But I’d recommend the preparation even to legally married couples. Even if we are at a disadvantage, I know I’ve been comforted by the fact that I’ve left slim ambiguity. I imagine every couple could benefit, to know you’ve done all you can to cushion and organize such a hard and chaotic event.

So get to it, call a lawyer or get the forms online, if you haven’t yet. Hey, as we did, you can make a game of thinking up funny places to spread your ashes, or strange bequests to distant relatives. Make a nephew spend a night in a haunted mansion for a thousand bucks, or something. Regardless, you know it’s planning that won’t go to waste, right? :-)


Java said...

a feather, I'm sure

Good advice, as you say, for everyone. Thank you.

J G-W said...

This is something Goran and I have been meaning to do for a long time and never got around to it.

I suppose at least in our case, there are not dependent children who would be adversely affected. But...