Thursday, July 06, 2017

Wonderful Discovery!

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.  


Mike, Studio City said...

I have a gay cousin in Orlando Fl. He is the son of my aunt Joan, my moms sister. I send them emails often but have yet to become familiar with him. Gays really 'don;t' flock together. Glenn and I have a living revocable trust. We just moved into our new home and are changing the trust. This time everything goes to the Gay and Lesbian center in Hollywood, and the homeless gay teen shelter of Hollywood. We have taken his family out of the trust, long boring story. I will send you our new adddress by smail mail. We are just ten miles northwest from where we lived for 23 years. Stilll closee to Hollywood and the ocean and still in Los Amgeles city limits.

Harry Hamid said...

I've worked with low income HIV+ clients for about twenty years now. For years, when one partner died, if the couple didn't have a will, then no matter how long they'd been together, the parents of the deceased partner would come flying down from Minnesota or somewhere to throw the surviving partner out on the street with nothing.

Thank God things are different now, usually.

"Bear Law" is a little on the nose, though. Wow.

Karen said...

Seems like this was meant to be. Amazing when the stars all line up in perfect harmony. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

You are lucky to have had 53 years with Bill, but that being said it is still sad to think about the end. Eventually one of you will be left alone and the loss is something I cannot imagine. I have been with my irritating half for 21 years now and I don't know if I could breath if he were not here tomorrow. I know the inevitable comes for us all, but to be the last one standing is a fate so worse than being the first to go.

Harry Hamid said...

I just read my comment again, and I fear it might have come across as making the world of people who live with HIV and the world of same sex couples sound as though they are too close on the Venn diagram.

They're not, but it's where my initial exposure to the importance of wills and estate planning documents first hit home.

There. Fixed.

Jon said...

I'm so glad to hear this good news, Ron. It's amazing how fate (sometimes) provides us with a positive thing when we need it most. How very rare to find a gay Tipton in your area - and an attorney, to boot! Wow!!!

I haven't been online in two days because I couldn't get an Internet connection. I was finally able to fix the problem about an hour ago. I feel isolated from civilization without my computer.

WARPed said...




Travel said...

It sounds like time for an update, let us know how it goes. I need to make some changes one day.

Bea said...

Oh, my! What are the odds of this sort of thing happening?! May all go well with updating the will, Ron.

Ur-spo said...

wow what a story!

Ron said...

Good to hear from you again. I was wondering what happened to you (smile). You're right, generally gays do not flock together. Sadly, I haven't heard from this new found fifth cousin tht I wrote about in this blog. I am disappointed but not surprised. Looks like I'm still on the search for a new attorney to redo my wills. I just may use the same attorney. I do have to change my will though and soon. I hope Pat and I can visit you and Glenn when we visit California next February. Send me your address so we can arrange that.
Thanks Mike,

Ron said...

I left message for my newly found fifth cousin but he never called me back. I'm disappointed but not surprised. Many of the gays here in southern Delaware occupy an exclusive gay clique which I am not a member of.

Ron said...

I agree with you 100%. The "one who is left standing" has it so much worse. I literally cannot imagine my life without Bill in it, as irritating as he is sometimes (and I am sure I am to him also). But it is also hard for me to imagine Bill alone without me. Over the years I have grown to be his protector. I don't think he would be able to survive alone. People would take advantage of him and he would probably end up homeless. He gives everything away, trusting people too much. I'm the more cynical (realistic) member of this partnership/couple. I will have to plan to be the survivor (like I have much control over that fact.)

Ron said...

My newfound fifth cousin has not contacted me even after I left him several messages. I'm disappointed but not surprised. The gay community down here tends to be very exclusive (clique). I'm not a member of that clique.
Sorry to hear that you lost your connection to the Internet for a few days. When we lived in the country (Pennsylvania) we lost our power so often. I don't miss that life.
So hot and humid here Jon. Been so busy and exhausted by the heat, that's why I haven't posted a blog for a few days.

Ron said...

It was too good to be true. He never contacted me. Disappointed but not suprised.

Ron said...

I haven't heard from him. Probably never will. Disappointed but not surprised.

Ron said...

I knew this discovery was too good to be true. I haven't heard from him even though I left him several messaged. Disappointed but not surprised given the exclusivity of the gay community here in southern Delaware.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
I knew this event was too good to be true. I haven't heard from him even though I left him several messages. I'm disappointed but not suprised. I still have to update my will though. Probably will have to use the same attorney that I had before.