Where There's a Will


My husband and I just updated our wills, so now we can die happy in A Plane Crash and know that everyone we love will be well taken care of. 

Because our kids are all legal adults now, we were able to scrap our old will, which left our surviving children to a guardian and which included detailed instructions on what she could let them talk her into buying them and what she could deny them and still be good guardian.

It took us years to get the old will drawn up. The first few issues were easy: 

● If I die first, my husband gets everything and vice versa. 
● If I’m on life support, pull the plug, but only if there is no chance I can snap out of it. And get some really good doctors to make that determination. I want at least one Harvard diploma on the wall on this issue. 
● If I have alzheimer’s or dementia, do whatever you must, but show me where the food is and label it. 
● If I’m in pain, give me drugs . . . lots and lots and lots of drugs. 

Beyond that, it got tricky. Our kids were little and we couldn’t decide who the guardian should be, if my husband and I both died at the same time in A Plane Crash.

Whenever a scenario comes up with both the husband and the wife dying at the same time, it’s always a plane crash. You’ll never hear a lawyer say, “Now you two are going to have to decide who will raise your children if you’re both in Best Buy when the roof collapses.” Or “if one of you snaps and there’s an unfortunate murder-suicide.”  Or  even the statistically probable “car accident.” No, it’s always a plane crash. These lawyer-client meetings have resulted in more couples flying separately than probably anything else.

Except for people like me, who work so hard at coming up with a great situation for my kids, if my husband and I were both killed in A Plane Crash, that it seems like a waste to have us live into the nursing home years. There’s just no upside to that.

After much discussion, thought, and many tests run past family members to see who was worthy (or who we wanted to punish the most), we came up with an ideal life planned for our little orphans. Then the years passed, our kids grew older, my husband and I weren’t in A Plane Crash, so all that effort was for nothing.

Fast forward to yesterday: We’re in the lawyer’s office and we’ve gone over life support, alzheimer’s, drugs, one of us dying, the Plane Crash, and everything was all sewn up.

Then the lawyer said, “We should talk about a Doomsday provision.”

Doomsday, in the world of last wills and testaments, is not the same as Armageddon, the End of Days, the Apocalypse, or anything the gun lobby talks about. Doomsday is if our entire family died in A Plane Crash. Who would get our money?

“Wow, that’s a tough one,” my husband said. “What are the chances, though, that we’d all be in one plane at the same time?  I mean, we can barely all get in the same room at the same time, let alone on a flight to someplace.”

“Yeah,” the lawyer said. “You’re probably not looking at a whole lot of big family vacations now, are you?” He suggested we include it in the will anyway, “just in case.”

So we discussed it and came up with a very nice Doomsday Plane Crash plan: Our nieces and nephews are going to be thrilled with it, and so are two state universities in Ohio.

It’s an awesome plan. I’m feeling really good about it. In fact, it’ll be a shame if we never get to use it.

I’m sure, though, that my kids will never get on a plane with me again, especially once they’ve read this.

Labels: ,