Dear Annie: My husband asked me to sign a prenuptial agreement three weeks before our wedding. We both cried when it happened, because neither of us wanted to speculate about the possibility of divorce. Why he did it, I'm not sure. Neither of us had been married before, but my husband owns his own business, and I think his attorney pushed him into having me sign.
Now, several years later, we are happily married, have a beautiful family and want this one dark cloud hanging over us to disappear. How do we get rid of the prenup? How can we make sure that the attorney who drew it up completely eradicates the document? I had no lawyer, only my husband did. He wants to get rid of this albatross as much as I do, but we don't know if simply burning our copies is enough. Any advice? Together For Life
Dear Together: It isn't enough to burn your copies. The attorney probably has another one. If, sometime down the road, your husband should change his mind, the original contract would still exist, and he could use it. Go back to the attorney who prepared the original paperwork and ask him to draw up another contract, nullifying the agreement. If you don't trust the lawyer your husband previously used, find another one. The important thing is that your husband wants this as much as you do.
Dear Annie: We are putting in a backyard pool, and our neighbors seem to think we are constructing a community swimming facility. Most of them already have made comments like, "We can't wait to swim in your pool," or, "Too bad there's no gate in this fence, so we can come over and swim whenever we want."
Annie, I'm not against an occasional swim for the neighbors, but I don't want it to be a daily thing. How can I tactfully make the point that the pool is for us, not them? I'm already dreading the summer. Not a Lifeguard in California
Dear Not a Lifeguard: If you are willing, set aside one day a week (or month) for your neighbors to join you in the pool. If they show up uninvited, simply say, "Sorry, this is our private swimming time. We hope you'll join us Wednesday night when everyone is welcome." Do not allow them in, or you will never get them out.
Dear Annie: I am a recent widow in my 70s and blessed to have a large, loving family living in this city. They are generous with gifts for all occasions, but I would like to tell them that what I need more than material possessions is an offer of physical help once or twice a month.
I hesitate to call upon my children for every small thing I need (replacing lightbulbs, opening pill bottles because my old, sore hands cannot, and so on). I won't ask them to do large jobs for which I am willing to pay electricians, plumbers or garage servicemen. I just need relatively small, everyday chores to be done for me.
I drive and do my own grocery shopping, but carrying the heavy bags is difficult for me. Also, reaching up on shelves is becoming more than I can handle. I realize my children have jobs and families of their own, and they are busy, but an offer of help once a week or even once every month would be greatly appreciated.
Please print this so our children know what we really need. Louisiana Lou
Dear Lou: Consider it done. Many seniors do not want any more lovely gifts adding to the clutter in their homes. Unless the folks say otherwise, chances are they have all the material possessions they need or want. An offer to help around the house, run errands, repair broken items, replace lightbulbs, and so on, is truly the best gift.
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