Friday, April 26, 2013

Leaving a Legacy

Roger doesn't like it very much when I talk about dying.  He has gone so far as to tell me that I am obsessed.  Maybe I am, but I just want to make sure everyone is prepared.  Not so much prepared for the sadness and immediate onset of depression, as I can only imagine there would be upon my death, more so prepared for what to do financially and how things get divided between Roger and the kids.

Death is one of those things no one likes to talk about. The fact is, however, everyone dies.  So, how do you handle it in a blended family?  Who gets what?  Every blended family is different in how things are divided up, just how things are different in a traditional family too.  I mean, if my mother left her diamond ring to my brothers, I might be a little upset. After all, they don't wear ladies' rings.

Soon after Roger and I got married, we had trusts drawn up to help alleviate some of the stress related to the end of life process.  There are provisions in our trusts for the children, including money and care for them, and who handles those affairs as well after we die.  We tried to make everything very impartial, and each even asked one of our siblings to step in to help settle affairs should we die.  Well, now that our kids are of the age of majority, we need to make changes.  In addition, we have been married much longer now, and we both want each other to have more of a say in how things are handled, rather than pushing it off to a third party or sibling.

It still isn't easy though, and there are a lot of unanswered questions.  I mean, what if I die, and I leave everything to Roger, and then instead of everything being split between all three children some hussy, I mean hustler/scam artist, wins him over and convinces him to give my huge fortune to her?  Then the kids are screwed, and Christian gets nothing of what was once mine.  Or what if Roger just decides after I die, that he is going to leave everything to Alex and Adam and write Christian out all together?  Notice how it is all Roger being the 'bad guy'?  I would never do anything like that, and frankly, I know Roger wouldn't either.  As must as I trust him, thought, there is still that ounce of doubt that makes me wonder what might happen.

I think it all boils down to trust and communication.  Roger and I have a date to pour through all of our documents and really discuss what we want and don't want to happen.  We will need to be open and honest with each other about our fears and desires for our legacy.  It really isn't an easy conversation to have, but it is a very necessary one.  It is a conversation that could lead to a disagreement, but it is better to work it out now. If you wait to long, you might be gone, and once you're gone, you won't be able to say very much at all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Well, Party's Over!

In less than a month our children will be returning home from college.  I am trying to mentally prepare myself. When they moved out at the end of August, it was quite an adjustment for me.  The house seemed so empty.  It was quiet all the time.  I had to learn how to cook for two and how not to buy the whole grocery store each week.

Then, I got used to it. I got used to getting the laundry done in less than a 5 hour period, rather than over 3 days.  I got used to the quiet and the calmness and not feeling like I was rushing around as soon as I stepped my foot in the door after work.  I got used to us being alone and, well....other things too.

Now, they are coming back.  So party's over, everybody, that's a wrap!  We have to clear out and clean up before they get back.  No more control over the remote.  No more getting to do what I want to do.  We are soon to be invaded, with their stuff all over the place.  Shoes and socks and things out of place, and eyes watching us.

Actually, I don't think it will be that bad, but it will be different. Since Alex, Adam and Christian have been away at college, they have changed and so have we.  They have matured and grown, and when they return it will be a whole new adventure. There will be different issues and different conversations. Their horizons have been broadened and they are now young adults.  They will have new perspectives and outlooks on life, and I am excited to get to know the new them.

Roger and I have changed too.  We drink a lot more - just kidding.  We have become closer friends. We are learning more about each other and as a result, I think we are becoming better parents.  Since we have had 9 months of being able to talk to each other about our kids, both good and bad, I think we have a better understanding of how we want to work together to guide them and help them get planted in the real world. I have truly enjoyed being empty-nesters and I will look forward to it happening again.

So the return of the children won't be so bad, it will just be different.  It will definitely be a new adventure for all!