Get your paperwork in order

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Over the weekend, Marianne and drove to Winston-Salem to celebrate the engagement of two friends she had set up about a year earlier.

As we were driving West, going about 70 miles an hour in the far left lane, I notice something in the roadway. As I was driving, I did my best to avoid it…to no avail. My right rear tire hits whatever it is and next thing I hear is a CRASH! and a Hissssssss…. one meant I had a flat, I didn’t know what the crash was.

Luckily Subarus tend to be crazy safe so I didn’t have a major blowout, just a slow letdown. As I change lanes and pull over onto the right shoulder of the road, I notice a silver car pulling up behind me.

How nice of them. They must be pulling in to see if I’m okay.

As I stop my car and Marianne and I get out, we turn around to say thanks to the folks behind us and see this:

HOLY CRAP!

Turns out we ran over an 8-10 inch piece of solid steel, about two inches thick. The thing weighed about 10 pounds. And then as we ran over it, we kicked it up and behind us into the right lane next to us…and into their front window.

The husband and wife both exited the vehicle, he was slightly bleeding from the shattered window glass that had fallen, she had glass all over her lap. The state trooper who eventually pulled in to make sure everyone was alright found it in the back seat of the other couple’s car. Seriously, if the gentleman in the passenger’s seat had been leaning over to tell his wife a story, or reaching for a drink in the cup holder, or any other of the 10 million things you do while riding as a passenger, he would have been killed. And I still have no idea how she didn’t jerk her wheel any and cause another accident.

Thankfully everyone was okay and, after a nice tire change by the AAA guy and a set of four tires later, Marianne and I were back on the road.

The whole incident got us thinking about (besides the obvious ‘hey your life could change in an instant’) how important it is for gay and lesbian couples who cannot get legally married to get any other sort of paperwork they can in order.

Currently, Marianne and I have no will, no powers of healthcare powers of attorney, no living will…nothing that makes us able to legally make decisions for the other if some freak accident (or a 10-pound hunk of steel) comes at us full force. Doing a quick Google search, I found the Human Rights Campaign Website that offers a list of what all LGBTQ folks should have. At minimum, it recommends:

  • Co-Parenting agreement (if there are children in the relationship);
  • Domestic Partnership agreement;
  • Donor agreements;
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances;
  • Health Care proxy;
  • Hospital Visitation authorization;
  • Last Will and Testament; and a
  • Living Will.

Some of this stuff is expensive, although I have found that certain “family-friendly” lawyers will do them for a slightly smaller fee.

 

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2 responses »

  1. My partner and I were able to have all of these written up (except the co-parenting agreement since we have no children together) for about $300.00 by a lesbian attorney who practices locally here in Indiana. I feel very relieved to have them in place.

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