Friday, 9 October 2015

The Note


In the right top corner of the little arts and crafts writing bureau in the living room, is a folded up envelope.
In the envelope is a hand written note and a house key.
The note is set of instructions with the title
" what to do in the event of my death"
It's not an exhaustive list.
There's contact numbers for a solicitor and a far flung, seldom seen relative.
There are some house keeping instructions, requests for " last time" jobs to completed and some final wishes of things that need to be set into order.
We have been asked to complete the job of a " next of kin" for someone who lives nearby and who lives alone.
It's not a big ask....but it is a vital one

The Prof and I have talked about who we would rely on when things slow down for us in future years. We have organised our wills, that bit is easy, but who will  we rely on , when things go tits up?
Who will know the location of the family papers? And more importantly who will care about them?
My grandmother's wedding ring is hidden within our marriage certificate? Contacts for much loved peers lie hidden within locked up emails and phones and hopefully there will still be a pile of dogs on the hearth rug that will need a friend to care for them.

One day one or both of us will need to complete our own hand written note.
I just hope to God that we will find some serious minded old soul that will keep it safe and sound for us
Hey ho


79 comments:

  1. If you leave the cottage to me in your will, I will look after you when you are a senile old git. I will even push your bath chair but I am not wiping your backside. You'll have to wear Pampers.

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    1. Looking at you YP , i have a feeling you'll kark it before I will xxx

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    2. Dream on skellington!

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  2. Something to think about.
    Two of my brothers live alone (for different reasons). I have instructed my children to be the 'carer' for the childless one, just as I was the carer for my childless uncle.
    x

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    1. Is your brother ok with that sue?

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    2. Yeh, he's good. I'm his 'big' sister, so he's used to me looking out for him.
      x

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  3. I've done much the same, but I have a feeling my list is longer; luckily I have two sons and a daughter to follow my instructions (if indeed they will).

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  4. Since I live alone and have no siblings, I often worry about the same issues. Eventual incapacity and death are not pleasant things to think about, bur they must be dealt with - - sooner rather than later....

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    1. Yes. The thought of a perfect stranger sorting things out cold....leaves me rather cold

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  5. This makes for sombre reading today. I thought you was saying YOU had written the note left in the bureau and am relieved to read further down that you have yet to do this. I am terrified of writing a will and cannot face the prospect of death. Not yet.

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    1. Perhaps just talking about it to a friend may be a start

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  6. I wish I lived nearby

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    1. Would that mean we would have another note and key on the left side of the writing desk?

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    2. Or would I have one? You are probably younger then we are.

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  7. Yes, yes, yes. I really must leave a list for my children. I live alone and they live in the big smoke so they have no real idea of the minutiae of my life and what should/needs to be done, in the event. Thanks for the prompt.

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  8. just thinking about this; could the note be for auntie glad? :(

    spouse and I need to consider these facts also.

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    1. No AM auntie Glad has a large extended family all over

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    2. well, that's a relief to know!

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  9. I am sure that you are the perfect person to care for this note and these wishes. It is a good gesture on both sides. I sometimes think who will care for me, likely I will be alone when I in old age, no other family, who will know or even care. I hope that I find some kind soul like you!

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    1. We all would have one such person me thinks

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  10. There is much to do when preparing for the inevitable, but it is not something we really want think about. A will is not enough.

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    1. I agree........so many squabbles may surface without an overall plan

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  11. I was always cared for .. having met and married my husband when I was 21..he was older. When he died over a year ago .. I had no clue as to what to do about what .. I was the typical pampered wife, not to worry about anything .. he liked taking care of bills etc .. he liked taking care of me. Now I am the one who has to worry and care and tend. I will have to write a note too. Sadly these days, a person can wonder about the intentions of some people .. I only worry about my cats now. The rest of them can take care of themselves.

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    1. This entry saddened me just a little. Xx

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  12. It's really important to let someone know what you would like to be done after your death. My dad died alone, suddenly at 47 years old. He left us when I was 5 and I'd only just got back in touch with him 2 years before he died, so I didn't know him very well. He had no parents or siblings, no wife, just me and my younger sister who had no contact with him. There was a will but no instructions on whether he would like to be buried (if so where?) or cremated. I felt under enormous stress to have to be the one to make that decision. It should definitely be written in a will and/or discussed with people.

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  13. I'll need to make arrangements for the dogs of course, but everything else....I don't feel the need to control *that* from beyond the grave. *Someone* will dispose of my remains, *someone* will shovel my belongings into a skip. Just about the only advantage of being the deceased I should think - not my circus, not my monkeys....

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  14. It is good to have that covered.

    Every time I fly or go away I leave a detailed list just in case I die. As accident prone as I am, I should keep one very visible. I do have a file in my cabinet that says, Titles and Important Papers.

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  15. Consider, if you make the list, it may be wantonly disregarded. My mother's list included not announcing her death. We promised, knowing full well we would. People we han't seen in fifty years appeared at her service; there were 200 cars following her to the cemetery. She touched many lives and they came to say good-bye. So, keep that in mind.

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    1. Of course it maybe desregarded
      I wonder just why your mother didnt want a fuss? Did she say just why?

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    2. No fuss. She would not have considered how many people loved her.

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  16. A timely reminder; most things have been arranged but there are a few small things which need doing.

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  17. Have you written a note to Chris John? to be read if you go before him...we have a will and I've written letters to the kids but can't quite compose one for the mister. Talking to Ma and Pa a lot more about this kind of thing lately..it needs to be addressed but can be quite sobering. I have always wanted to be left something in a will (I'm not asking - honestly!) no matter what or how big or small or important or not..just something from someone ...and when I discussed this recently with a friend they said that I was obviously asking to be acknowledged or remembered by someone and that was why...I was obviously feeling under appreciated they said...I felt a bit small and selfish and silly at that comment but thinking it through they were right.......don't judge me though ....I'm only human.

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    1. Libby, I am with you.......i have often talked with the Prof about what I want to happen after I die....
      As for leaving items.. I think i shall do what I have seen before, i shall leave sickers on tbe back of things at home with peoples names on.....more expendive items will be entered into the will

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  18. Yikes....the legalities are all taken care of but yes, what about all the little things that matter so much. Of course, once I'm gone I won't care a fig about any of it.

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    1. I think libby is right... A little item thoughtfully bequethed may bring a liitle bit of sweetness to someone left behind

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  19. It's a lot to think of isn't it? My two eldest daughters know where my envelope is. Thing is, every once in awhile, I am reminded of something that needs to be addresses, so the note gets rewritten. We need to stay on top of these things.

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    1. If we make things easier..... Its the right thing to do.........isnt it just being responsible?

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    2. The smallest thing can have the most significance to a person. It can be a priceless treasure .. not for its worth but its sentimental value.

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  20. Good post, John, I have done all the paperwork, and somehow it has been moved. I will need to do that all over again. I like your idea with the stickers. The kids all KNOW what they will inherit, but stickers will help remind them who things are for. I have already given out special bequests to remove any doubt.

    Love your little desk btw

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  21. i'm all wrapped up and ready to go.

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  22. It is a shame John that so many people just do not face up to the need to get all these things done. I have a large file and in it is everything I think is necessary - the addresses to stop all my pensions/bank accounts and the like; the whereabouts of my will; last minute requests etc. It saves those left behind a lot of heart ache and worry.

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  23. That's so good of you to keep your neighbor's last instructions. The only thing/s I worry about are my animals...

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  24. Nice post John, my partner and I will be in the same situation, irrespective of who dies first. Neither of us have any family.

    Good idea. Had not thought about this.

    Nice photo, as always.

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  25. We have written wills that encompass either of us dying or us both going together so that side of things is taken care of. As to belongings and stuff, there is nothing of great value that is for one person or another, so those that mourn us can take what they want and then sell off anything left over, and split the proceeds as per the instructions in the Will.

    We have left instructions with the Wills on who to contact to close down the company and deal with legalities, in fact the only thing we have not organised is the animals.

    My hope would be that they went to various members of the family but I think I will join the Blue Cross scheme (I think that's who does it) that ensures a loved pet will always be looked after on the death of it's owners.

    What a morbid subject for a Friday afternoon .... but a necessary one to raise.

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    1. I will remember the blue cross scheme Sue........good call

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    2. and it is pouring rain and very dreary where I live today :)
      But I have Plans ..

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  26. My granny left the names of people sellotape to the bottom of things or a plastic bag if they were wrapped up. She treasured the few things she had left after moving into sheltered accommodation and wanted us all to have something personal from her.

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  27. We have a file called the " Karkit " file that has all the necessary in it. Every time we go overseas Tony updates it and ,of course, we have the kids to take care of things for us.

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  28. We have written our wills. My husband sometimes drives me up the wall and back out into the garden. He does not see:- washing on the line when it is raining; empty toilet roll holders littering up the loo; bits of poo around the toilet seat; sorry tmi; and a hundred other things. He IS however, totally trustworthy. About twenty years ago a friend of his, a lady, asked him to be the Executor of her Will. He agreed and in 2013 she sadly died. He did everything as she wanted, she knew we would get fights from her nearest and dearest and they did fight. Phone calls, threats, trouble with charities (whole story there!!) they even questioned her funeral which she had planned and paid for, thankfully, we did not gain anything. So make sure you get someone like my hubby who does that sort of things by the book and listened to all her worries and cares. He had another heart attack after it was all finished. He is better now but never again. Make sure that the person entrusted with your Will is strong. Hope none of this happens for a very long time. Love xxx

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    1. A good story Andie.....and a lesson learned..... Everything clear, unambigious and in writing

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  29. In addition to a file of important papers like life insurance, I've got a notebook that includes all the passwords to all of my online stuff -- even my blog. Both my husband and daughter know where it is. If I die suddenly, I want someone to be able to announce my death on facebook and my blog.

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  30. A good reminder. I hope you find that soul, too, John.

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  31. I have arranged for a couple of guns to be left with my Will so that the fighting relatives can have a shoot out straightaway outside the solicitors office. Save a lot of time later. I have also arranged for a box of matches to go with my instruction that all my belongings are to be burnt.

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    1. Would they fight Rach? Thats sad

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    2. Where there's a Will there's a relative..

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    3. I'm really proud of how both my family and my partner's family have acted when someone dies. It isn't compulsory for everyone to fight like cats and dogs. It is the perfect time to show all those values we were hopefully raised with, perhaps by that very person who has died. What better way to honor them?

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  32. Now this is food for thought. One thinks that if one's will is done then that's it. Clearly not. Thanks for the gentle nudge...

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  33. Someone said something to me years ago about wills and I asked my husband if he had made one changed his old one ... He said .. I am not going to die.

    Sadly he was wrong.
    Thankfully, everything he did, whether he mentioned it to me or not, he put in my name too .. so there was sort of nothing to leave me because it was already mine.
    If only I could have kept him too ... take the house, take the car and my jewelry, just let me keep him ~

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  34. Wills are the easy bit? Hah. My partner refuses to make one. As always, I come along behind NotesFromAbroad and my heart aches.

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    1. besos ... am I too dreary ? I don't mean to be. It is raining here.

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  35. When I once worked in mental health social work a chap I was invovled with lived alone and had no traceable relatives. His social network was so impoverished that I, insignificant as I was, was the only 'significant other' in his life. I was taking care of his affairs and in the process had two communications which made me think. One was from the hospital mortuary service asking me to hurry up and get the 'disposal' expedited because "he's turning to liquid". The second was a call from the crematorium asking whether I wanted a service and minister of "just incineration?". I know some people don't want a fuss but there is a balance to be struck. I was the only person who attended the funeral (apart from the minister).

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    1. How very sad. But you were there so it was not the saddest thing. You were there :)

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    2. I agree......one person who cares......is one person who cares.......well done philip

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  36. Now, "Listen Up" John, and everyone else too!! It is really important you get a few things organised BEFORE YOU NEED TO!! If you don't make these decisions someone else will have to choose for you. (1) Which resthome (end of life hospital) would you prefer to be in (2) an "Enduring Power of Attorney" - that's what it's called in New Zealand - a ;egg; document that enables some specified person to make financial and practical decisions on your behalf (3) a Will (4) a list of people who need informing of your death/incapacity.
    Why am I so insistent on these points? Because I've had close family who haven't done this, and had a stroke and none knew what to do, or had the legal authority to act on their behalf.
    And don't think it won't happen to you!! Unforeseen illnesses do happen! What about the car accident?

    Ok, rant over! But do think it through, please!

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    1. Care home?
      I am with the eskimos
      I will be off on the ice with just a t shirt on before that ever happens

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  37. I remember being the only person at a woman's cremation when I worked at a large Psychiatric hospital. Apart from them minister, who thanked me for the company, as he would have performed the service irrespective of mourners.
    A good friend of ours has asked me to see to his affairs when he dies as he has no close kin and we know him better than anyone. I am also tasked with seeing that his wishes are met should he become incapable of making his own decisions. We have had long conversations about his care etc. and he feels confident that I will carry out his wishes.
    I am lucky enough to have daughters that know where everything is in our house and will also take over from me with our friend should I die before him.

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    1. I too have been to funerals like the one you mentioned....bittersweet

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  38. I'm with Virginia. I am under 40 and have everything set. My Family think I am nuts. we have mirror wills, our power of attorneys in place. No children, so our house and possessions will be liquidated and become a Trust for our Nieces and Nephews.

    I have a funeral bond, already paid for.

    People in the UK also need to think of Inheritance Tax. Talk to a Tax specialist... a small amount of money now could save 40% later.

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  39. There'll be a big pile of dog shit to clear up, that's for sure.

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Why? You can visit my blog with your answer if you want to.
      I had to delete the last comment because google changed the words Andrew.

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  41. Oh how bizarre, my husband and I were just talking about that the other day - probably bought on by my fathers failing health; access codes for our bank accounts, sorting out death benefits, what we want to do for our funerals and with our bodies, what to do if we're terminally ill, DNR's and all that lovely joy. Then we went to the pub and drank beer - it seemed appropriate.

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