Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Who talks about.....

Filling out legal forms?  Health insurance?  Car Insurance?

Tonight I'm filling out a form for my dental insurance which comes with a default little life insurance policy.  Naturally I want A. and R. to be the beneficiaries of this policy.  It certainly won't make them rich, but it would definitely allow them to handle my burial (or in my case cremation) expenses and life celebration.  (Notice I specifically did not say funeral)  So I listed all the information necessary then sat stumped at the "Relationship" field.  What do I put?  It's a legal form.  Can I put domestic partners?  Lovers?  The people who make me feel better than anyone ever has on the face of this planet?  (Frankly the box is big enough for the latter.)  No.  I put friend.  Friend?!?  Really?  Just a friend.  Yes, we are friends, but that isn't our primary relationship.

It makes me wonder about other things like - being sick.  I have some health issues, what if I end up in the hospital and it's "family only"?  They are my family.  Heaven forbid it be something serious and decision needs to be made, then what?  My brother (shudders at the thought) would get to make a decision?  They know more about me than he does.  My Aunt?  Would a fight ensue?  How do I make sure they have those rights.  Not just one of them, but both of them.  Clearly I have some research cut out for me.  I will be certain to write more about this later.

We have talked about an LLC for house stuff and making sure I have some of the same protection that A. does, but the things in return - me giving to them, their rights to carry out my wishes, access to my belongings, wealth (LOL) etc...  

For now, I sign off a wee bit sad I just classified my relationship as a friendship.

5 comments:

  1. Considering our talk around the dinner table about my frustrations with something as "small" as Facebook not letting me claim you both as my partners, I get the sadness of saying "Friend".

    Until we draw up more permanent-like papers, I'm sure we could do something like Power of Attorney for medical decisions. I can't guarantee it would keep your brother out of the picture, but it's a step in the right direction.

    Also, I wanted to tell you: you can use my first name on here, if you want to. I've commented as just "A" this time, to give you the choice. :)

    Love you,

    -A.

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  2. Hey! Sorry you are sad but....couldn't you have put 'domestic partners'? I mean, it is the truth and it is sufficiently vague to avoid any office sniggers? I mean, it wasn't a tick box was it?

    Not meaning to be confrontational but it seems to me, you did that to yourself, you already had a suitable alternative and you chickened out.

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  3. Natja,

    I think putting domestic partner is fair. In fact, R. tried that when he attempted to put me on his insurance and it raised a red flag because he was already married to A. The insurance company actually called him, and he had to "correct" himself.

    Because that had happened, I put friend. Any form of poly is illegal in the states. Not sure about your laws.

    J.

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  4. Hi Ayonfe,

    Aaah, sorry, I did not realise you were worried about the law, though AFAIK, Arizona doesn't have common law marriage (hence why there are quite a few FLDS compounds in Az).

    Just a correction, Polygamy is illegal in the US yes, not Polyamory. Since, I can assume that you are not illegally married to either partner, it boils down to whether you (currently) reside in a State which has Common law marriage laws, which will then consider you a 'wife' regardless of whether you claim to be one or not (designed to prosecute FLDS) the States that have common law marriage are:

    Alabama
    Alaska
    Arkansas
    Florida
    Massachusetts
    Mississippi
    Nebraska
    North Carolina
    South Carolina
    Virginia
    West Virginia
    Wyoming

    There is also an additional list of States which make adultery a felony, so if you go around claiming to sleep with someone other than your legal spouse you could be jailed.

    Colorado
    Idaho
    Iowa
    Kansas
    Montana
    Oklahoma
    Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    Utah
    Washington D.C.
    Wisconsin

    (source: http://usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/polygamy/index.shtml

    If you do not reside in one of those States, you can safely assume that you are not at risk of arrest though I understand the social stigma might be incredibly difficult anyway.

    So, it is possible to challenge the insurance company and say 'Darn tootin that person IS my domestic partner' if indeed you are allowed to add more than one person as a beneficiary, than you should be able to make a claim in any fashion you choose, it is none of their business how you live.

    What I am trying to point out here is that you must use the leeway you have to advocate some part of recognition for your relationship, when you can, IF you can, USE it. You might not have legal recognition but that doesn't mean that you have to be fully closeted unless, for you all, the risks outweigh the benefits.

    As for Facebook, as far as I know, everyone is considered 'friend' on it unless you designate otherwise, my partners joined Fb more recently than I and neither of them have put that they are 'married' to each other. We have all put as a status 'In a relationship' and left the 'who with' part blank instead. Perhaps it would be better for your partners to change their married status on their profile than for you to be designated 'friend' it would feel a bit more equal?


    Good Luck,
    N
    x

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  5. Hi Natja,

    Thanks for looking up marriage laws in the U.S. Iived in common law marriage states.And let me tell you that I don't believe that one can have more than one common law partner at a time. In fact, I don't think that all partners (more than 2) can live under the same roof.The legal matters still have to be worked out.Canada tried to impletment this law recently because of the high humber of muslims and poly folks and polygamists but it was defeated. Thanks.

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