There was a movie out a long time ago starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson that I saw years ago; can’t think of the name or the year it came out. In it, they were in a rather rocky marriage. The scene that stays in my mind is when she was going into labor, and they were driving like mad to the hospital.
She said “I can’t do this! I can’t have this baby! Can’t someone else have this baby?”
Well, I now know how how that feels. Not that I am having a baby; no. It’s because the Crankee Yankee and my dad and I are in the process of updating Dad’s and Mom’s living trust. Back when they originally had this done, they put it together for every possible contingency. If Dad died, the trust went to Mom. If Mom died, it went to me.
However, Mom died in December of 2015. Dad now lives with us, and the other day the three of us met with our financial planner. Fortunately, he knows and has worked with the lawyer who drafted the trust. As it is full of legal-speak, it made my head hurt. So our planner kindly made a list of what I need to do and when.
I am comfortable with words, but numbers; not so much. After fifteen minutes, my head hurt. After a half hour, I wanted to leave my head on the table and walk away.
Thankfully, the list I was given was something I could handle. My issue is that, even at age 65, I don’t feel that I am old enough (or responsible enough) to captain this. I found myself mentally bonding with that Meryl Streep character, wanting someone, anyone else to do this, not me.
But when those times in our lives come when we have to step up to the plate, as uncomfortable as that may seem, we have to dive in and own it. My parents set up this trust so that I would not have to search for all pertinent information, or deal with probate, etc. It was done to save me time and trouble; all documents and information are covered.
Setting up a trust is gift to those who come after us. It saves them from trying to hunt up paperwork, deeds, etc. It gives them all the information they need to deal with everything from end-of-life issues to selling property.
While I sat there in our financial planner’s comfortable and well-designed office, inwardly grumping about all those pesky (but important) details, I was grateful for my wise parents’ foresight in setting this up.
…..But still I have that vision of a hugely pregnant Meryl Streep groaning on the way to the hospital saying, “Can’t someone else have this baby?”
I get it now. Truly.