Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
Dealing with my dad’s estate has spurred me to update my will again to make sure some new material is covered. Whether you’re doing one for the first time or the 50th, it’s a sobering experience.
As I went through the checklist to see if I’d missed anything, some of the questions really stood out this time.
We accumulate all this stuff in our lives, make our nests, and then a legal document forces us to say who gets it when we’re no longer attached to it, whether or not they have the slightest interest in what this particular little wire-wrapped crystal pendant meant to me or that ring my mom gave me or why I’d want a certain item buried on the hill on my parents’ farm where we watched the fireflies and full moon that time. I don’t think about the money. Money’s never been the big emphasis for me. Instead, I think about the sentimental things that probably no one else would consider, with the exception of my daughters.
At this point in my life, it’s a clear decision for everything I have to go to my daughters. I still have my mom and brothers, all quite a bit older than I am, but I have no other children and no special partner to share my bounty. It’s a sudden reminder of how small my most precious circle is.
Then I come across a question on the checklist that floors me. I’ve read it before. I’ve answered it before. Today, I’m in a different frame of mind.
If my children should not survive me to inherit my property, then who would I name as beneficiaries?
All I can think is, if my children should not survive me, then what would it matter?