DEAR ABBY: I am 30 years old, the only child of divorced parents in their late 60s. Neither of them has remarried.
Because of certain family events, I encouraged Dad to create a will four years ago. He never had one because he doesn’t have much money or any property to bequeath, but my understanding is that putting things in writing helps immensely when the time comes.
The will Dad finally produced is a cookie cutter one from the internet and not even notarized. But I was most surprised when I saw he had named his sister as his executor. Is this normal for people with adult children? I feel my parents are my responsibility to care for as they age. Assigning this duty to my aunt, who will be at least in her 70s when Dad passes, feels like an undue financial and emotional burden on her. Am I allowed to talk to him about his choice of executor? — DAD’S KEEPER IN WASHINGTON
DEAR DAD’S KEEPER: Subjects like these are often sensitive and difficult to address. However, you are “allowed” to talk to your father about any question you wish. Explain that you always assumed it would be your responsibility to take care of his affairs if he was unable to, and ask him why he chose the person he did to be his executor. He may not have wanted to burden you with the responsibility or had other reasons for naming his sister as his executor. In the final analysis, the decision was his to make.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I have been together going on two years, and I feel like I want to marry her. I think I could spend the rest of my life with her. I have already asked her father.
Recently she told me she wants to move closer to her family. They live in the middle of nowhere, and the only city close to them has extremely poor job prospects for both of us. As of right now they’re a four-hour drive away from us, which I think is a reasonable distance. We moved here only six months ago, and now she’s clamoring to get back closer to home.
To complicate things, I prefer an urban living environment, and that seems not to be an option. My girlfriend says she would be open to moving in the future, but if I’m being honest, that seems unlikely. What can I say to her? — WILLING TO COMPROMISE
DEAR WILLING: I agree that once you and your girlfriend/fiancée move closer to her family, the chances of her agreeing to move farther from them is unlikely. If you have a child, she will want him or her to know the grandparents, and possibly have help with baby-sitting, etc. Your reason for not wanting to move to the “middle of nowhere” because of the economic sacrifice involved makes sense.
You need to think very carefully about what marriage to her will mean before taking the next step. And above all, have some serious conversations with her about your feelings. A compromise might be to move nearer to her family, but still in an area where you can both find adequate employment.