Thoughts Upon My Last Will and Testament

January 13, 2010

By Thomas Moore, Family Law Office Manager

Friends and Family

Sunday. It’s been a splendid week here in Minnesota. Negative 25 degrees on many mornings. Snow. The holidays are finished; we had some friends over on Friday evening for food and socializing. Jennifer, my son and I are planning trips to her friend’s wedding in Washington State, to a memorial service in Texas, and elsewhere.

My daughter now has two sons so I’m a grandfather twice over. My son is planning to move out and rent his own apartment. He is doing well at his job. He is going to Washington, D. C. to advocate for the handicapped and to Nebraska for the Special Olympics.

Things are changing. My own dying will be life without me. My loved ones and my property will be here after me, so I need to prepare — like you, perhaps.

My younger brother died last spring – hence the memorial service in Texas. Suddenly I felt old, so I reviewed my legacy planning. My will was drawn up before marriage, the trust for my son, who is handicapped, is obsolete. My health care directive has not been signed.

Legacy Planning

So here’s my plan – hire a lawyer for some legacy planning. I did so and she is now working on a new will for me and my wife, a trust for my son, another trust for my daughter – who, it turns out, also has a permanent disability. A new health care directive for me, or at least sign the one I have. Other legal paperwork and decisions.

The Emotional Side of my Will

So much for the mechanics. Being married to a family lawyer with a specialty in trusts and estates, the legal procedures making out a will and the necessary trusts, are proving to be not a problem.

The cause of my procrastination was the emotional side of things, the acknowledgment of mortality, the press and rush of life itself.

Like you, perhaps.

I find it good to take stock weekly, daily, even hourly. It keeps me focused and prepares me and mine for the future as well as the present, both of which are fraught with uncertainty and risk, as well as growth, rewards, and love.

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