Friday, February 14, 2014

On Acting Like a Grown-up.


Avoidance.

One of my defects.

I'm not good at confrontation, I do not express anger well (running and hiding), I write better than I speak - though lately some would dispute that. I've been on teevee, and on radio in the past week. People come to me, say: you were so articulate. I am pleased, having been advised years ago never to watch or listen to one's self on media. I am wordy, but only in my head, on paper, on my laptop, in my texts where I reign myself in, who wants to read, on a tiny screen, my endless priceless prose?

You see, I was avoiding something inevitable.

My own demise.

And putting measures in place so my daughter, who has MS, is not over-burdened with my managerial ineptitude and, well, pre-mortem avoidance.

So I see a lawyer, and explain things. My last will was written, oh, well over twenty five years ago. Circumstances change. And I mention the unmentionable too:

"What happens if my daughter predeceases me?"

And he was pleased, I could tell, that he didn't have to inject such an unspeakable into our conversation.

And he advised me on the other major concern I had: my missing child, who may, oh lord, show her face upon my death, and cause even more incredible pain and havoc for the child who has already seen far too much of it herself.

"Write a lengthy and utterly clear codicil," he added,"Outline the reasons she has no say in the distribution of your estate or in your living will. Make it uncontestable."

"The thing is," he added, "We need to make this bullet-proof, and I must say, more people should do this. It eases the pain of what is extraordinarily stressful for the survivors, you are very mature in your thinking."

Mature!

The first time in my life I've ever heard this word applied to me.

Now, something else ~ has anyone out there planned a green funeral?

What? You're not going to die, ever?

Alrighty then.

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35 Comments:

Blogger Hattie said...

We have all this under control, no thanks to me but to my husband. Having seen my mother in law out under the best possible circumstances and still having a mound of work and worries about settling her estate, which was not even a complicated one, and ours is as Byzantine as this sentence, we have to be sure everything is air-tight.

Fri Feb 14, 03:50:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

2 years ago
I had a simple will made.
Need to redo it
as circumstance change for my 4 children.
Some doing well and need nothing
and because of the economy some not at the best place.
Now my concern is over my two
very young grandchildren.
Older ones have had their excellent education.
This one
just cremated
and ashes spread in the woods.
I came to the conclusion several years ago that funerals and the whole process just cost money.
A thought surfaces
as I have always had to be in charge of most in long years
and now it seems I am trying to control beyond my ashes :)

Fri Feb 14, 07:01:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Friko said...

Ah, I see what you mean.

Yes, that last will business; you may have seen from my recent posts that I too have a ‘missing’ child, although I know where she is. But she has written me off - do I write her off? She is in my current will.

How did you come to terms with 'writing off' beyond death? Lawyers are so inflexible, they need to be.

I wish I could speak to you in person - or just behind the blogging scene.

Don’t take any notice. I am fine. Yeah.

Fri Feb 14, 08:54:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Friko said...

One Woman’s Journey writes about leaving different bequests for different children. That way lies sibling rivalry and hatred. I’ve seen it happen. If that’s what she will do, she needs to tell her children of her plans.

No matter how rich or poor, everybody wants what’s ‘theirs’. To be treated ‘fairly’.

(Sorry, www, to be shoving my oar in on your blog. Please don’t be cross)

Fri Feb 14, 08:59:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous nick said...

A tricky business, wills, since we can't predict what the future will bring. Jenny and I have wills leaving everything to each other, but who knows, we might both die in a car crash tomorrow. Then presumably everything is split between our relatives, which would be messy but it's hard to see how we can allow for strange quirks of fate like that.

Sat Feb 15, 08:18:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Cape Cod Kitty said...

It is very comforting to have all these things in place, and WISE. Mine is all set and my obituary and post mortem wishes are in place, too. I've made it clear where all the paperwork is kept and made sure it is in order. Everything is equal among my children....

Sat Feb 15, 12:08:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Friko, what you stated is constantly on my mind.
I may just soon start giving away.
When one grandmother passed away
her home was almost empty.
Also
with health issues
there may be nothing left.
There already issues among
my children
and do not want to cause more.
Each who share with me
do from your heart
and I surely understand..

Sat Feb 15, 01:18:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Secret Agent Woman said...

I got my will done after I had children, and re-wrote it after my divorce. My biggest concern would be who would be guardian of y kids should their father and I both die. As soon as my youngest turns 18 this year, I'll re-write it again to leave everything directly to my sons. And I've already told them I want to be cremated and scattered in the mountains or at the ocean (whichever feels more meaningful for them) and they've agreed.

Sat Feb 15, 01:36:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've done this, completing it just last month. The outcome was a will, personal directive, and power of attorney that cost over $900. Why did I pay so much? That's for about 3 hours work at lawyer's rates here. Yes, you can make a holograph will, but it won't be binding.

Like you WWW, I made some personal annotations: what drugs and treatments I will not use or take, whether I am cognizant or in dementia or a coma, that to be carried out by my executor, but also by my carers if my executor pre-deceases me. I learned that writing a letter to your family et al giving personal wishes and directions is not legally binding. It must be in the lawyer written legal document.

I also stipulated how my remains are disposed of, organ donation, obituary notice, memorial.

I'm hoping others will share what they've done so we can learn. One can always make changes, but they must be legal. A note in your handwriting is not enough.

Sat Feb 15, 01:52:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Enna said...

This is such an interesting post. However upsetting it is we MUST make wills. To die without doing so may mean family members end up with nothing while the ( UK ) Treasury takes it all.

Sat Feb 15, 02:34:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Grannymar said...

We need to update our wills on a regular basis. Thanks for the reminder to check mine out.

Sat Feb 15, 04:47:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Government Funded Blogger said...

I don't know what the arrangements for
power of attorney are in your province,WWW.Here in Ontario two separate documents are needed.One for financial and one for health and personal care.

Our Wills are the simple ones since our families are well looked after.

Good post!

Sat Feb 15, 05:57:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger LadyLuz said...

We'd dearly love a green funeral but as we're in a foreign country we've had to arrange things that will be as easy for one another (or our NOK should be both die at once) as possible. Funerals have to take place in Spain within 48 hours so we have funeral insurance (very common here) because undertakers want the money upfront and in cash. With one phone call, everything is arranged. We've looked into donating our bodies to medical science but the bureaucracy here is mind-boggling and there's no guarantee they'll have us when the time comes!

Everything else is taken care of...Wills, Advance Directions and list upon list of who to advise (including closing blogs, Fb and other internet stuff.

I bet there's something we've forgotten.

Sat Feb 15, 07:33:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous R J Adams said...

Oh dear, now you've jogged my guilt chip. You know I, too, have a missing daughter. Not quite as 'missing'. I do know approximately where she is but have had no communication with her these twenty years. My wife has been prodding gently towards approaching a lawyer. She has a son and I have another daughter with whom I am constantly in touch. We wish to split our 'estate' between the two of them. I feel bad about cutting out the first daughter but feel it is the right thing to do. I guess I shall have to gird my loins and, like you, exercise maturity.
I haven't planned any sort of funeral, as yet. I wonder why it feels like tempting fate? Oh, darn, there goes my hope of maturity!
PS I'm not sure they've heard of 'green' funerals in the US.

Sun Feb 16, 01:11:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Hattie:

We do learn from the mistakes of others, right?

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:23:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

OWJ:
I would suggest be careful about uneven distribution as it may cause estrangement post mortem :(

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:24:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Friko:

No. Maybe I wasn't clear. I am not cutting off Missing Child, just disabling her influence on the distribution of my estate or living will or power of attorney.
XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:28:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Friko:
I hadn't read your comment before my suggestion to OWJ.

we have to be so careful in preserving any potential relationship our children may have with each other.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:30:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Nick:
You could endow a homeless or animal shelter if both of you die.
A thought?

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:32:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sun Feb 16, 01:34:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Kitty:

I love wills such as these. My father's was nearly so apart from one disparaging remark about one of his sons-in-law. My ex. He was never to get his greedy hands on any of it if I predeceased him.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:34:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

OWJ:

Ah I see, some of us write less than what is actually in our minds.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:35:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

SAW:
I want to be scattered here on my wee 7+ acres where I've been truly the happiest.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:36:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Anon:
So I have learned, notes are not enough. The more specific the better.
Good for you!
XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:37:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

GM:

Yes when changes are evident we often forget that these could affect our wishes in a last will.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:37:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Yes, here too GFB. The living will and the power of attorney.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:38:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Closing blogs? Note to self. Even though I've read the last thoughts of those bloggers who have died. And those on FB, far too many now.

Thanks for the reminders, Pamela.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:40:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

I do believe they have green funerals in the US, RJA.

And no I'm not cutting off missing child, just her power to interfere.

I deem it important if she is ever to renew contact with her sister and not add further recriminations.

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 01:50:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Sharon said...

We drew up wills many years ago when we had young children. Now they're grown and we want to change a few things but it always seems like there will be time. I don't know if the lawyer we used is still in practice, but that is no excuse. Time to get on this ~ thanks for the push.

Sun Feb 16, 04:05:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Sharon~
Yes the old long finger is a good place for those "Me? I've got 200 more years to live" moments.
We all need a sense of immediacy, obviously :)

XO
WWW

Sun Feb 16, 08:24:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Enna said...

No easy answer to the inheritance problem. Happened to a close friend. One of three adult children, all on very good terms with each other and their mum. She left a bit more to the "vulnerable" one. My friend said - "My head told me it was the right thing to do; my heart was dismayed and hurt"

Tue Feb 18, 11:26:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Enna:

Yes, that is the fallout from such inequality.

And it never leaves.

so sorry for your friend.

XO
WWW

Tue Feb 18, 11:55:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Rummuser said...

I have one child and my affairs are so simple that withing 48 hours of my death, all my affairs would be wound up except getting the death certificate which will take a week after the cremation. What is a green funeral? My son will cremate me in an electric crematorium as I did my father.

Tue Feb 18, 11:59:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Ramana:
A green funeral is basically leaving no disturbance/pollution on the earth. One opts for a cotton shroud and gets planted, to feed a tree or even animals.

Dust to dust. Literally.

XO
WWW

PS Well done on your simple will :)

Tue Feb 18, 11:29:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

Strangely enough, my partner and I have been talking about needing to do the very same thing. What to do about his estranged daughters will also be an issue for him.
I think 'mature' is definitely the right word for the fact you've finally got down to it. Better late than never. And no doubt the situation with your missing child was contributing to your avoidance and worry about what to do for the best.

Fri Feb 21, 06:51:00 AM GMT-3:30  

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