Saturday, September 7, 2013

Past Lessons, Future Impact

So the whole issue with my father-by-marriage's estate settlement has pushed some things to the forefront for my DH and me. Primarily, the fact that we don't have a will. DH quite specifically has said that he refuses to travel with me after retirement if we don't have a will in place, and seeing what he is going through for the estate and all of the miscellaneous work he is doing, I fully understand his point. So we need to get wills set up - soon - to remove one more weight from him.

I love this old-style hearse - so classic and beautiful and with Percheron horses!

The auction for my father-by-marriage's went live last night and will extend through next week. The man organizing it wants the "open house" inspection scheduled for Wednesday in the late afternoon. I can do that if necessary, but I'm hoping he can switch it to Tuesday or Thursday instead. I know DH would rather be the person who is there in case questions arise about any of the items. Item pick-up is scheduled for the Tuesday afterward (the 17th), so DH can be available for that one. Some of the items will need to be disassembled, others will need several people to help carry them up or down the stairs, so physical ability will be important.

The old-style funeral procession required some very strong people to carry
the coffins to the cemetery. This one looked like a really long walk.

It's so strange to be younger than 60, looking around at my list of friends and acquaintances and already seeing empty spaces in their ranks. Of course, like most people, I had friends who died while I was a teenager, so it's not a new process, but I don't think it ever gets easier. The normal thing that most people do in their wills is to leave their items and estate to their children. But DH and I don't have any children and that leaves us open to allocate our assets to those places where we feel it will do the best good. Our monies will be going towards scholarships and university departments, towards helping shelter animals, and to expanding public radio and television. We will also attempt to help medical research and the arts, and I hope that we will make a difference in the lives of many people, not just a few. But the specific firms, schools, and programs that will be listed will require some thought and divorcing emotions from the future as we try to figure out the best way to help as many people as possible.

This painting - "Funeral Procession" by T Coleman is a lovely representation
of a stylized procession, probably dating from the mid-point of the 1900's. I really
love the whole feel of this picture. 

So as I enter the weekend, I hope that you have a wonderful one and that you also give some thought about how you can impact the future. Everyone has a legacy - make yours a positive one.

No comments: