Thursday, July 06, 2017
This morning I made a wonderful discovery.
For several years now I have been putting off updating my will.
Over the years I have had more will made up that I can remember. Life circumstance change which require updates to my will (and Bill's).
Right now if I die everything goes to Bill. If he dies then everything goes to me. But Bill has nothing except a small bank account. Many, many years ago we decided to put everything in my name for protection from those family members who didn't approve of our relationship. Those family members who viewed our relationship (53 years now) as "not quite legit." Well, of course now we are legit after having become officially married July 3, 2013.
However, if I am the sole survivor of our relationship I have previously made a will leaving everything to my brothers' children (twenty) by percentages. I had also named my brother and his wife executors. Both have to change. I now have two grand-grand nieces (man I am old) and, since I am estranged from my brother, I need a new executors. Plus I have some special instructions for the disposition of our remains and other special instructions that maybe only a gay lawyer would understand and be sympathetic to.
Times have changed. Now that Bill and I are officially married I have to change our wills to reflect that fact. Also, I have decided to change the percentages to fixed amounts. That will make it a lot easier for the executor of my estate. I should know, in my previous life I work in bank trust operations. One of my jobs was a manager of the remittance unit for trust and estate executor accounts. Fixed amounts are much easier and don't care as much family angst. I will leave the balance of my estate to a selected friend, who is with me at the end of my life. Also a few special bequests to those who have been kind to me during my lifetime.
My last will was prepared by an attorney in Rehoboth Beach. He and his staff were fine but I wanted someone who I felt more comfortable with. I've been mulling over this decision for a few years now. I keep putting off making a decision. At one time I was going to use the law firm that Pat used for the sale of his land. I liked them but hesitated because their law firm specializes in bill collecting. That just didn't seem like a good fit to me.
The good news is yesterday I found the answer to my dilemma quite by accident.
I was checking the obituaries in the local newspaper and found "Tipton" in the obits. Finding someone with my surname is quite unusual for this area. Not too many Tiptons in Delaware. I knew there was one in Lewes but I never contacted her. Most Tiptons I contact aren't interested in sharing our common family tree even though we're all related. I've always been able to find the connection from or original ancestor Jonathan Tipton who arrived in this country in 1692 from Port Royale, Jamaica after their big earthquake destroyed his barrel stave making business. Yes, my ancestor made barrels to store Jamaican rum. He was part of Venables' Force who colonized Jamaica after defeating the Spanish in 1655.
While reading the obituary of my distant Tipton relative yesterday I noted that one of his surviving sons was "Michael and his husband Eric of Rehoboth." Say what? There is another same sex Tipton couple in the area? Wow.
So this morning I did a Google search and I find that Michael is an attorney who specializes in elder law and wills and estates. Say what?
Even better! I check his website and I find he's a Bear. Most of you don't know what a "Bear" is. I do. And most gay guys do.
I put a call in and left a message for him to call me back.
I have a will that needs updating.