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January 12, 2005


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Tess, let me know how this goes for you. This is something I need to do as well and haven't been looking forward to it. : (

Auntie Pammie

As ususal , a great blog T. You wouldnt be referring to me would you? Its -39C with windchill today, so do me a favor and enjoy your nice weather.


Ugh. The perennial problem. We keep putting it off, too, although we have figured out the guardianship issue.

My grandmother started giving away some of her stuff before she died. The sticky-pad idea worked pretty well after her very sudden and surprising death (in her sleep early one morning--she was chronically ill from non-heart conditions, so it was a "good" death for her but brutal for her kids). But, it was just about impossible for everyone not to feel a certain niggle of "_I_ wanted that." My mom and her sibs have a good, strong relationship, so the niggles didn't do any damage--but I've decided that when the time comes, I'm going to try to be as non-acquisitive as possible. Maybe I'll be less disappointed at what I don't get, if I don't want it in the first place?

It helps that the only things I want really are things that are easily copied and shared: photos, diplomas, other family-history stuff.


Tess - I was thinking about this very thing on the way in to work this morning. Such a hard decision, deciding who would best raise your children. I still don't know who we're going to decide on and I know we must.


This was always a hard one for me, because my ex has custody of my son, no matter what I wanted in my will, he would get custody.

Thankfully, back in my legal secretary days, I worked for a wonderful lawyer who drafted up a very complicated (and she did it for free) will that enabled my parents to be able to have recourse to see their grandson, but that also the ex wouldn't get any of my insurance money.

Now that my son is 15, I don't worry so much about my parents being able to see him.

Who raises the kids? That's hard and none of us want to think that we might die before our children are grown. And most of us probably won't. But it's very prudent of you both to be taking legal steps to ensure your children are taken care of and your wishes are met.

And as I have no money, I've divided up my few precious possessions between my siblings, my parents and the kid gets all the insurance money. And if I'm travelling for work and I die, he gets double the money.

Maybe I shouldn't have told him that part.


we were just thinking about this this week. having lunch on sunday with marshall's old high school/college buddy turned probate lawyer probably had something to do with it. spending a couple of days with marshall's family during granddaddy's 94th birthday may have helped also.

it took us a couple of years to figure out who we wanted to raise sagan. she's happy to take on zali too, if need be. we are very fortunate to have A.J. in our lives. for us the hard part is the critters. finding someone to take cats isn't too difficult, the cockatiel should be fairly easy as well. but what does one do about the non-tame birds? the macaw? the snakes? hopefully it will never come up (well, except for the grey and the macaw, who should outlive us)...for any of us.

and now, a note from sagan (who has been begging to help me type):

ko,jlh.j;;kjlok;i/kopk;oipoi.kjl;j.llkllil;ikb'kl;lpl[kpl;k onpjiojhi;ijh;hjlh;ju8;kik;iolk;iok';o8i;j8i-k;8o;8k;8k8ok;8ok;8k;8k;pj;p;8j;''jjjjjj8/j8j888j/8j/8j/8jl/j8ln


When a friend of mine's father was diagnosed with motor-neurone disease, he decided to give his children money in his lifetime, as he wanted to see how they'd spend it. His illness brought the family closer together, and as a tribute to that, the three siblings decided to pool their $ together to buy a beachhouse they could share on weekends, thus fortifying their own bonds after his death.

The most interesting will I ever heard of was from a guy who was its recipient. His grandmother or great-aunt or someone had always admired his joie de vivre, and to cultivate that, gave him a lot of $$ each year - on the proviso that he would have to travel somewhere he'd never been before overseas each year in order to get it. Sadly, he died of AIDS, but it was a good thought.


Death and dying does weird things to the survivors. Not having details spelled out is just asking for the worst behavior in the worst of situations.

When my MIL died, she hadn't updated her will in ages. The things she thought were of value & import were not any longer, really. It was almost sad to see what was assigned to which sibling, etc.

On the other hand, with the death of my grandparents and a great aunt, everything was current & known. A much different way to handle it all. It was much more full of love & respect for the life lost, rather than hurt feelings.

I think the single greatest thing my parents have done for me is to spell everything out for me & my brothers, as well as my husband. We all know what is what, where it is all kept, and who is in charge of the details (me). I don't want either of them to go anywhere soon, but it is comforting to know that if something were to happen to either or both of them, that we can focus on the grief and the lives they led, rather than sorting out what is left.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to decide who might step in to take care of your children if something were to happen, though. Things are easy. Animals you know a kindred spirit when you see it, so you know they'll be cared for in the manner that you'd expect & want. A child, much less your fab four? Well, I admire the thought process that you'll have gone through when it finally gets to the written word form, you know?

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