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Burnt Offering

These days Sandy and I are working on estate planning, which with each new email or delivery from our diligent lawyer plunges us into gloom. How nice to know we have things wrapped up in every imaginable angle! If I die! If she dies! If we both die simultaneously! If we are dining with my sister and all three of us die at once! Not to mention all kinds of situations involving incapacity.

Estate planning makes us even more irritated because we’re not legally married. Sometimes people think we are, because we married in 2004, but those marriages were invalidated and will (almost undoubtedly) never become valid again. The additional expense is costly and irritating, and wouldn’t go away even if marriage were legal in California, because estate law is, in many respects, tax law, and that means the Feds.

Meanwhile, in a happy confluence, for actual real-world research purposes, I am looking into the laws surrounding the disposition bodies after death, including scattering of ashes, particularly in the aftermath of Allan Vieira, the Bernie Madoff of ash-scattering scams. What did I dig up from the LA Times? (Get it… DIG UP?)

β€œThe outrage led Assemblywoman Lynne Leach (R-Walnut Creek) to introduce legislation last year that would stiffen regulations on people who scatter human ashes.”

Ok, yes, that was beneath my usual standards, but it’s Sunday morning and I haven’t punched my weekly blog post card, and I appreciate anything that relieves the gloom of estate planning. I admit I snickered like a 9-year-old who just saw her teacher’s bra strap.

Expect more tomorrow on the Random House ebook price hikes–a post written but embargoed for Monday’s delectation.

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