Mr. Staehlin plans to leave $10,000 to each of his siblings and his mother. He has also designated 75 percent of his 401(k) plan to his local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, where he volunteers several times a week.
Everything else will go to his two best friends, whom he calls “my Minnesota family.” Mr. Staehlin met Adam Ford in 2004 when Mr. Ford joined the volunteer St. Paul Police Reserve, where Mr. Staehlin was patrol commander. Soon, Mr. Ford introduced Mr. Staehlin to his partner, Ryan Calvin.
Their friendship quickly deepened. Mr. Staehlin took care of Mr. Ford and Mr. Calvin’s dogs when they traveled. When the couple married, Mr. Staehlin was Mr. Ford’s witness. Mr. Staehlin once returned from vacation to find that the couple had rebuilt his back porch. They took Mr. Staehlin to San Diego to visit the U.S.S. Midway Museum to celebrate his retirement.
Mr. Ford, who is an only child, described Mr. Staehlin as more like a brother than a friend.
Mr. Staehlin first asked Mr. Ford and Mr. Calvin to serve as his primary and secondary health care agents, as his agents under power of attorney and as his executors, and they agreed. The couple already had a sense of the responsibilities: Mr. Calvin, 47, has a law degree, and Mr. Ford, 46, helped his mother when she had to execute the estates of her father and husband when they died within months of each other.
“There is a lot of work in doing this,” Mr. Calvin said. At the same time, it is an honor, he said.
The couple agreed without knowing how much Mr. Staehlin had left them. “Adam and Ryan aren’t doing bad financially,” Mr. Staehlin said. “It’s an appreciation of their friendship for me. It’ll make their life even a little bit better than it already is.”