About ten years ago I made a will, a man came to my home and after lots of questions and answers, he left to do the printed copy. A direct debit was set up for payment for the Company to hold the original will in their vault at £20 a year. Even when we were skint, and the man in the bank who was going through our money in and money out of our account when he saw the direct debit for the will he said, “Leave it, don’t stop the payments.”
I decided this year I was going to stop the payments and think of an alternative. The yearly payment was due and fast approaching, so I wrote out roughly what I wanted in my new updated will. It was strange writing it, but it is important, for after a person dies and haven’t written their last will and testament, this causes confusion and arguments, with the inevitable fall outs, some can even take a generation to start to be friends again. My Husband Paul hasn’t done a will. So, it was ‘comforting’ to know that all was well should something happen to me, for none of us know the day of our death.
I then rang the Company that had my will and told them, “I’d like to update my will, before the date of the renewal, direct debit yearly payment is due.” The receptionist on the phone said to me, “The earliest we can get someone to come to your home is, on the 9th It will cost £75,” I thought that was a bit steep, but it had to be done, so I said, “OK that will be fine.” The Company rang me back five minutes later and the Receptionist said, “As the date will be after you are no longer a customer of ours the price will be £100. I thought that was over the top, but said, “OK.”
I went on social media and asked most of the people in my contacts, “If you have a will, how much have you paid and who with?” Most replied that they, “Hadn’t done a will.” Even some who were my age, that did surprise me. One friend however, whose brother studied law and teaches it, said to me, “Why make things hard for yourself, do your own will,” I said, “You mean simply write it and tell people where I have put it?” She said, “Yes.” I told my clever cousin, he said, “It’s not that simple as I’d told him, “I would do photo copies and friend and family would have their sealed copies,” He said, “That could cause some confusion, as there can really be only the original.” Even at the bank, later that day I was talking to the Cashier as I’d gone there to cancel my will direct debit, she had said to me, “If you do it yourself, make sure you get a Witness,” I hadn’t thought of that and she had also said, “Include these words, this is the final Will and Testament, and no other is valid.” I told her, “I’ll include that too,” I felt that I was making progress in the right direction.
While I was waiting for my will to be sent back to me, from the Company that had held it for ten years I thoughtfully and carefully wrote out my new one by hand, it took just under two hours. Then a few days later someone suggested I go to WHSmith and get a will pack from there. I’d forgotten, that it was on the news a few years ago that you could get a will pack, so you can do it yourself. I went there and bought a pack for just under thirty pounds. There was SO much to read, it did put me off starting. So, putting the pack down, with the thought of picking it up again soon, when I wasn’t tired, but, as soon as I sat down after work, I’d soon fall asleep. It did bother me that I wasn’t getting it done. I picked it up again after a few days to try and read a bit more, and a few days later read even more, but still I’d not written anything down on the actual document, it seemed so important, and it is. It did make me wish at times that I should have just paid the £100 and let someone else do it, as it was stressing me out. I had to choose who would speak for me, they recommend a younger person, as they’d likely be still alive after I’ve gone, the songs, I’ve chosen manly by my favourite band Elevation Worship, to have their videos played onto large screens, the venue, the house, jewellery, I have decided not to have flowers but have named amazing small Companies, that loved ones can give their money to, if they wish. It was strange writing it, knowing that I wouldn’t be there, and wishing I could be. But looking at the will pack, it doesn’t give me sections for music choices etc. but just the place and who I can give my worldly goods to.
I’m off for three of the four days over the Easter Holiday, so I should try and get it all down on the short two paged documents, even more so, as yesterday three young people died, suddenly unexpectedly, two of the three wasn’t even sick they were murdered.
So, that should be motive enough for me to get on with it, and just do it.