“I want my sister to get the kids,” Natalie said frankly, arms crossed against her large bosom, softly resting upon the round glass table.
They were at the will party. The day had finally arrived but it wasn’t all it was cracked out to be. Everyone who had RSVPed had shown up and brought what they were supposed to bring. It even tasted good.
The things was, any event involving creating a will had to be somewhat of a damper, even if you added the word ‘party’ to it. They weren’t off to a good start; that was for certain.
“I thought we said my parents would be the best option,” Brian said firmly, making eye contact with every single person sitting around the table. Natalie could tell he was trying not to show that he was losing his cool, but was failing miserably.
“While on the topic of kids, I want ours to have full access to our life insurance policies if we both go at the same time,” Tammy spit out, and then proceeded to chew on her nails.
Her bold statement drew an immediate and cold stare from her wife, Leslie, sitting beside her. “Are you for real? You want our barely 16-year-old son to have total financial control over millions of dollars? Is that even legal?”
Harry reached into the large red bowl filled with potato chips sitting in the middle of the table. He didn’t seem to mind that half of the chips landed on his lap and on the floor.
“Well, that depends, I think,” he said, with his mouth half full. Martha glared at him and pushed the bowl further across the table.
“Why are you the ONLY one eating the chips?” she said critically, rolling her eyes so far back it was a wonder they didn’t get stuck.
“I’ll have some too,” Phil said, bringing the bowl closer to his side of the table. He used one hand to dish out some chips and the other to neatly feed himself, careful to wipe his groomed mustache with a napkin every time he took a bite.
“Well, why you all bicker, I think it’s time Phil and I get started, right Phil?” Angela asked, putting her manicured hand on his khaki-clad knee.
“You’re right, hun,” Phil said, dusting the crumbs from his hands. “Where should we begin?”
All eyes turned to Phil and Angela. Natalie and Brian’s mini-drama was put on hold, Tammy and Leslie took a break from giving each other dirty looks, and Martha gave up on trying to take the chips away from Harry.
“Well,” Angela said clearing her throat. “I think the first thing we should get out of the way is who will get the house. That’s our most valuable asset and it should be divided evenly between our children.”
“Are you sure that’s where you want to start?” Phil asked, uncomfortably. “What about the children? Who would look after them?”
Angela looked strained. “I know this is a will party, but I’d rather not argue. We’re here to write our wills. Jeff, isn’t that correct?”
Jeff had been sitting quietly at the far end of the room, laptop on his knees, trying to stay out of the drama. He was there to write wills. That was all. Counseling was not part of his lawyer description.
“Yes, yes, Amanda, that is so very true. Let’s turn our attention to clear cut instructions. If you are unsure, maybe it’s best you take it outside. I was under the assumption you had all agreed on your wils and I was here to make it official.” Jeff stroked his beard and looked around the room. Everyone had guilty looks on their faces, except for Amanda who was looking quite happy with herself.
“In that case, I think we’re ready,” Natalie said, nodding at Brian.
“Yes, it probably is best for Natalie’s sister to be the legal guardian. My parents will be happy to help out with anything she needs. They are getting older after all. So it’s for the best.”
Jeff nodded and proceeded to type up their will, with Natalie and Brian standing over him nervously.
When he was done, he moved on to Tammy and Leslie’s, who had also sorted out their issues.
“We could always change it, right?” Tammy asked as Leslie gave her a reassuring pat on her hand.
“Of course,” Jeff said. “I’m glad you two came to an agreement, but yes, the will can always be updated.”
Once Harry stopped eating, he and his wife were able to get through the details of their will swifter than all of their peers.
“Maybe it’s best for your wife to hold onto the will for now,” Jeff said, eyeing Harry’s greasy hands.
Harry looked mildly embarrassed, but shrugged his shoulders and motioned for Martha to take the document from their lawyer.
“Okay, we are left with you guys,” Jeff said good naturedly to Amanda and Phil. “Are you ready?”
The perfect duo nodded in sync, but began talking rapidly at the same time.
“Whoa, whoa,” Jeff said shortly, holding up his hands. “One at a time please.”
The others had turned their attention to the refreshments and drinks leaving Phil and Amanda to face their discomfort alone.
“You go first, darling,” Amanda said, smiling politely.
“Great,” Phil said reaching for some papers in his leather briefcase.
“What’s that?” Amanda asked, surprised.
Jeff turned toward the document Phil was holding and gasped slightly.
Startled, Amanda leaned in to get a better look.
It was her turn to gasp. She reached for her glass of water and threw its contents at Phil, showering the papers to a pulp. Then she stormed out of the room, not even bothering to retrieve her jacket.
The others had taken notice of the commotion and had their eyes on Phil and Jeff.
Jeff spoke first. “I guess you’ll need new ones, Phil. Don’t worry. I always carry divorce papers with me.