What Can We Learn From the Gay Marriage Debate?
Relax. I'm not going to weigh in on gay marriage. But I am going to discuss what I think we in the preparedness community can learn from it.
My bar association buddy from our young lawyer days, Parke "The Hammer" Morris, inspired me to comment on this. Parke's suggestion for those who wanted to mimic the legal rights of a marriage without actually being married would be to "write a will and draw up a durable power of attorney." The will would allow you to route your property to your significant other when you die, and the durable power of attorney would allow your significant other to make decisions for you in the event of your incapacitation.
As I posted earlier this week, we should spend more time preparing for the more likely emergencies than the more exotic ones. So what can we glean from the gay marriage debate?
Make sure your life planning is complete. One of the arguments for gay marriage is so that some one's significant other can make life decisions and enjoy protections provided by law for property held by spouses. Parke alludes to this point; a good estate planning attorney can create the necessary documents that enable us to be ready for the Inevitable Big Ride to Heaven, to protect assets from creditors, and to empower people to make life altering decisions for us. Kendel and I have completed a comprehensive estate plan, empowering each other to make critical decisions and dispose of assets as necessary to provide care for the other. As the odds are greater that one of us will have a critical illness or injury than a nuclear war, preparing for that contingency before we prepare for radiation contamination would be a better bet.