Thursday, May 10, 2012

Are you ready?

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and concerns for my family during my sister's brush with this devastating brain aneurysm.
Today, we have good news. While it will take a long while for things to return to "normal", the hospital is releasing her to go home today. This of course is great news to her. However, the rest of the family will need to pitch in now. She will need round the clock observation for even the most mundane things while she relearns to do the things in life that we all take for granted. Of course, if you recall, she was the one that was primary care giver for our father too. So now, we have the two of them in the same house. Its' going to be tough organizing for someone to be there with them all the time, but we will manage.

One huge lesson that we all learned from this is that we need to protect ourselves now, for the unexpected. Because it's unexpected, we can't plan for it. We can only be prepared the best we can.

When this happened three weeks ago, we had no idea if she had any arrangements made for power of attorney, a living will or even a will. Where insurance papers are. Nothing. Come to find out, that there is nothing of the sort. Looking at our own situation, we decided that we need to be more prepared than we are. Although we were legally married in Canada, the state of Michigan sees us as nothing more than roommates. We've put each others names on all bank accounts and listed each other as beneficiaries for insurance purposes. But the house is in my name. The business is in his name. And our private cars are also in one name each. The fact that we are life partners, business partners, etc., means nothing to the state. If something should happen to either of us, there would be a lot of issues raised that we should be taking care of now. 
Of course, as this video suggest, a lot of things would be taken care of automatically, if our marriage was recognized. I guess we've been holding off hoping that things will change. The fact is though, right now, this is  how it is. I know I suggested this a few weeks ago. But after viewing this viral video and dealing with all that is happening around me right now, I think it's time to make it happen and get the paperwork in order.

And next time it comes up for a vote where you live, make it happen. 

And furthermore, if you are straight and living with someone, the same holds true. When my father-in-laws girlfriend of 30 years died a few years ago, her children took over everything and he had no say in it. And also my sister-in-law left her house to her son, leaving her boyfriend of several decades begging to stay in his home.

Sorry if this is not my usual brighter side. But this is a big issue that should be addressed.

Yes Shane, we're listening.



MorningAJ said...

I MUST get our paperwork sorted. It's just that it's all so much hassle. But you're right. If anything happens to either of us we're not legally entitled to anything.

Good news about your sister getting out of hospital. I hope all goes well for you all.

Mark said...

I'm glad that your Sister is doing much better. And yes, you never know.

Stew said...

Something like this really helps you to appreciate everything that you have. Her and I were discussing today that since we don't have children, we were not that concerned. But now, we realize how much of an impact we have on those around us.

Jim said...

Yes, who would have thought when your Dad moved in with your sister that this would happen, Stew. I really hope that all concerned will chip in and do what they can to assist. As you know my family is looking after my Dad in his home. It is not always smooth going but we are all learning, or I have, to NOT go into this with huge expectations for everyone.
Each contribution will be different. Take what you can from each with thanks!
Good luck Stew to you all. Too friggin bad about the whole marriage thing in the US! It's happening but not fast enough.

Mitchell is Moving said...

So sorry for what your sister (and your family) is experiencing. I hope her recovery is better and quicker than anyone expects. It's unfortunate that it takes an event like this to make us aware of how much we have to do to "prepare." We went through the same thing in my family after an early death. Hopefully, everyone will live a good, happy, long time; but having those legal things in order is at least reassuring.

laurak@forestwalkart said...

i'm glad to hear the good news of your sister...i'm so far behind here...with LIFE happenings lately...that i wasn't even aware what was going on with you!

after all the deaths i've had in my family over the past few think i'd be more 'prepared'...get everything in order...nope. but i will...after i'm done procrastinating a little longer...

maybe someday...ALL people will be recognized as equal! as it should be! :)

Stew said...

Sometimes I can procrastinate with the best of them. But this was an eye opener.

In my eyes, we are all equals. Unfortunately there are those that don't think so. And right now, they are calling the shots. So we have to protect ourselves however we can.