Trust All Around

February 6, 2015

Guess what we finally did today and feel all puffed up about?


All of it, the trust, the wills, the powers of attorney, the advance health care directives…. the consolidation and commingling of current and future assets. The whole enchilada with mole sauce. Done!

Of course this has been on some to-do list or another for about, oh, sixteen years, maybe more. We can breathe a deep sigh of relief that Peter’s status as beneficiary is now official and all the niggly stuff about who takes care of what, when, is set, and who does it after that, and who after that.  And maybe one more who after that.

This process began last November. Four meetings later, and everything, as of today, is signed and notarized. The binders will soon arrive.

A small funny on that note.  The document-signing operation for trusts, wills etc., is almost, but not quite, as laborious an undertaking as when buying a house. Good lord. And so fascinating to watch a fastidious, detail-minded attorney orchestrate the process for you. In front of him was a neat stack of documents (so many documents) clipped together with post-its flagging key sections, each requiring your attention in precise, due order. He’d announce the document, swivel it around, and place it in front of us. Each document had numerous pages, each of which required our initials. There were also signature lines and date lines to be filled out. Re: the date line, we’d decided that for simplicity one person would enter all the dates on all the date lines and that person would be me. So, the initialing, signing and dating process began. All and all, there were dozens of signature lines and nearly as many date lines. Maybe there were even more date than signature lines, I’m not sure, but there were a lot. As I was the date person, I dutifully, if nervously at first, entered “February 2” on all of them.  As we’d finish a particular document, we’d hand it back to the attorney who would square up the pages, re-clip them and place them neatly, face down, on a new stack, just to the right of the other. We were about halfway through the large stack of documents when I realized (“… hey, wait a sec..”) that it is not February 2nd at all.  Poor our attorney. After a few pained expressions, a bit of head scratching, and finally a smile, he left to have his secretary re-print every sheet of paper that contained a date and we had to go back and redo all of those.  He chalked it up to Friday afternoon and seemed pleasant about the whole thing.

Interestingly, over the course of the nearly three months that all of this took, my Uncle Vic passed away and I got to witness the many ways even a well-thought-out, boilerplate advance health care directive can be interpreted and carried out. Experiencing that, as well as being a part of his beautiful, final day on earth gave me some insight into the process. We also have observed in the past couple of months the ambiance in the room at Piedmont Gardens where Aunt Annita currently lives. Because of these experiences and observations we ended up adding a couple of addenda to our own directives (for example, the peace and quiet addendum).

It’s been a gratifying process that we are both glad is done. It’s interesting that it’s called a trust because, intentional or not, the whole thing requires a lot of it. Trust in the documents, trust in each other to even go down this path together, trust in the people who will carry out your wishes in the end.

Going out tonight to celebrate. It’s actually a late birthday celebration with Paul and Janet, but we will also raise a glass to our soon-to-arrive binders.

2 Responses to “Trust All Around”

  1. Wow, good for you guys. That is awesome to get that done. I have done nothing of the sort 😦

  2. Bev Says:

    we did that a few years ago. it cost a fortune but at least it’s done.

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