Where There’s A Will, There’s…A Lawyer

A few weeks ago I decided to begin the process of getting my affairs in order.  Nothing terrible is wrong with me but with the ringing in my ear, a sinus infection and  shoulder problems  all raining down on me during the last year, I’m starting to get the impression that I’m not going to live forever.  So after looking at the bottom of too many martini glasses, I decided it was time to do some estate planning.

I got in touch with a lawyer I’ve known for many years, Ed, who although he is “not taking on any new business” agreed to see me.  Evidently, I’m old business.  Which is exactly the reason I wanted to see him.

I showed up at Ed’s office armed with a list of a valuation of a lifetime’s accumulation of assets.  This, so as to determine what kind of fancy-dancy planning we could do to minimize any estate taxes that would be due after the Grim Reaper stops by for a cup of coffee.  Thoughts of complicated trusts, beneficiary assignments, off-shore accounts and other razzle-dazzle schemes had been dancing around in my head as I was planning  on some quixotic brain storming session Ed and I would have.

I handed over my net worth statement to Ed with a flourish that was meant to convey a blithe pride in what I’ve managed to accumulate.  I could have saved that maneuver for some other situation because Ed looked at the papers for a few moments and then pronounced that my estate was not nearly large enough to warrant any planning whatsoever.  It’s possible you heard a “whooshing” sound around 10:30 AM, last Tuesday.  That would have been the sound of my ego deflating like some off-brand Pilates ball.

At this point my meeting with Ed turned into a mundane and ordinary discussion about drawing a will.  I’ve never had one and have long taken some pleasure in holding myself out as, how shall I say….irreverant or maybe, irresponsible.  I know it’s something with an “irr”.  Not having a will has been a mainstay of my “claims to fame”.  That, along with never having seen Psycho are very high in my list of the handful of things that make me unique.  So I wasn’t too thrilled to settle down with Ed for the preparation of a plain vanilla will which in turn could only further add to my own vanillaness.

Ed went through various scenarios of what could happen to my not-too-great-an estate if, after I pass on, my children were to die followed by my daughter-in-law ‘s re-marriage to some guy I don’t know from a hole in the wall.  And then of course, when they’re gone and something awful happens to my grandkids, it turns out that everything winds up with the waiter at the diner where I sometimes eat lunch.

As if  that conversation wasn’t depressing enough, we ended our meeting with a discussion of creating a living will.  This, so whomever is left after all the calamities about to beset my family, will have some  direction on how to proceed with my care when it seems that I’m unable to make decisions for myself.  As morbid as this may sound, it was the easiest part of our meeting; I’ve long been used to other people making decisions for me.  Oh yes, it’s mostly about where and when  to eat or whether to receive or serve (this is tennis talk) but still, I have a lot of practice in being passive.  But there was one thing upon which I insisted. If it’s the waiter who winds up with the job of pulling the plug on me, he has to follow the directive and wash his hands if he’s just been to the bathroom.

And to my children, I leave a pair of eyeglasses and some books.


2 Responses to “Where There’s A Will, There’s…A Lawyer”

  1. Yuk Says:

    Doesn’t the girlfriend get something?

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    Wow, that was an oversight! You wanna pull the plug?

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