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If nothing else the pandemic has reminded us that life can be short. Although we have a Will, I feel there is more that I need to do to get my affairs in good order so I am looking for advice.....

(31 Posts)
Bitofayear Mon 31-Aug-20 20:36:15

The pandemic has really brought home to me just how fragile life is. We made a Will a few years ago but this whole period of time - and seeing millions of people dying unexpectedly - has made me realise that it needs to be updated. However, I now spend quite a lot of time fretting about what would happen if I suddenly died. I wouldn’t say I’m over-anxious but it is on my mind and makes me feel a bit overwhelmed if I’m honest. So if I died my hubby would have little idea how to run the house - not sure he would even know who we pay the electricity bill to as I take care of all of the household admin. If we both suddenly died, although many of the major things would be taken care of (eg guardianship of the children) there are so many other bits and pieces of our lives that would need to be sorted out. I feel that I want to be a bit more organised but find it hard to really know where to start. I have started to write it all down - a sort of handbook - but it’s taking me ages and I’m worried that I’m missing things. I just feel that I don’t want to leave a mess behind and I need more than a Will and was wondering if anybody has any advice about a better way to do this? Anybody else worried about this or just me?

greengreengrass Mon 31-Aug-20 20:39:47

Hello there,
I am with you on this one.
My situation is different I am an older single parent and I found I spent a lot of time in lockdown and in the pandemic just sorting things out, decluttering and making files with various papers in order so that if I were no longer on this earth someone else would be able to find their way with them relatively speaking.

Have even talked certain things through with DD she is too young to understand but I have tried to come up with contingency plans.

Whilst hoping for the best.

So my tip is

organise, declutter and label.

Well done for posting and glad to have some company on this journey
all best

greengreengrass Mon 31-Aug-20 20:40:26

And i don't have a wil lyet so you are doing better than me...

greengreengrass Mon 31-Aug-20 20:42:44

so yes, a kind of 'handbook' good idea I would say. Kind of what I have been trying to do but surprised here also about the amount of time it takes.

And I lead what I thought was a simple life anyway.

Callistemon Mon 31-Aug-20 20:45:01

How did you manage that?
Having such a long thread title?

Not a lot really, the intention is there but .....
I should declutter

kittylester Mon 31-Aug-20 20:45:37

We have sorted the roof and the garage and decluttered lots of drawers and cupboards in the house (not done the photos though - yet)

We have a safe with important papers in and dh, who plays the stock market a bit) has a list of our investments in there.

The thing that bothers me is that dh has no interest in cooking and I'm not sure how long the batch cooked stuff in the freezer will last.

Callistemon Mon 31-Aug-20 20:47:46

The DC can take their pick and ditch the rest.
If I'm not there, I can't worry about it, can I?

Jaxjacky Mon 31-Aug-20 20:52:51

AgeUK will send a free Lifebook to keep all your information in one place.

geekesse Mon 31-Aug-20 20:54:48

I made an up-to-date will at the start of the pandemic, and I decluttered hugely when I moved a couple of years ago. I’ve written some extra information and that is stored with my will, stuff like passwords for my laptop etc. The kids (all adults) know what’s in the will, we have discussed it, and they all agree it’s fair. I suppose from that point of view, I’m as prepared for death as I could be.

The advantage of getting all this stuff done now is that I don’t have to worry about it.

Elegran Mon 31-Aug-20 20:54:55

Age UK have a free Lifebook booklet in which you can fill in all kinds of details which may be useful to those who will be sorting things out after you go. It is divided up into different topics. Just reading through all the sections reminds you what needs to be done.

It can be ordered at

Elegran Mon 31-Aug-20 20:56:51

Crossed posts, Jaxjacky I hope you have filled yours in - I haven't yet!

greengreengrass Mon 31-Aug-20 21:01:12

Thats good of age uk

I haven't documented my stocks and shares yet (lol)

However my gas and electricity bills are lined up

and my credit union loan card is in the right place...


Esspee Mon 31-Aug-20 23:41:01

What about powers of attorney? If you become incapacitated you will require someone to act on your behalf in regards to finances.

Then there's a living will. That allows you to indicate how you wish to be treated medically should you be incapacitated. Not legally binding but family and medical staff will hopefully take into account your wishes.

Then your funeral. Specify your wishes to prevent family members having that awful job of deciding what you would have wanted.

A will so that your assets are distributed as you wish.

A list of all your bank accounts, shares pensions, etc.

A list of all your regular outgoings, house insurance, car insurance, power company, maintenance contracts, etc.

Have I missed anything?

I have been procrastinating about so many of the items on this list. I find it daunting to be honest.

JackyB Tue 01-Sep-20 06:38:18

I'm working on drawing up a will, but I would appreciate it if there was a checklist you could download somewhere (like for organising weddings, moving house etc) with suggestions for making a list of other things to do to prepare for my death.

E. g. cancel magazine subscriptions, adresses of people to be informed, Banks, memberships, insurances, etc.

A handbook on how to run the household is a good idea!

I would also appreciate tips on how to break it to DH that he is not immortal. Even when I've done some decluttering I find he has retrieved things I've thrown out from the dustbin and hidden them in the shed.

Elegran Tue 01-Sep-20 10:12:35

Jackb The Age UK Lifebook is what you need, though that won't help you get through to Mr JB that he is not immortal. Order an extra booklet for him?

Jaxjacky Tue 01-Sep-20 10:24:15

Elegran Just ordered it, this discussion reminded me, it’s been on a ‘to do’ list for ages! I had one a few years ago, got shoved in a drawer and subsequently lost..could do better...

Doodledog Tue 01-Sep-20 12:11:10

Is anyone else going round in circles trying to order an Age UK booklet? I wanted the emailed one so that I could complete it and send one each to my children, but when I order one I get an email which is not the document but another link to order the booklet.

I must be doing something wrong, but it’s driving me mad.

NotTooOld Tue 01-Sep-20 12:37:14

I'm always decluttering my own stuff and also 'joint' stuff but how can I get DH to declutter HIS stuff? He's not into throwing anything out and neither were his parents, so he has cupboards full of god-knows-what. He says not to worry, the kids can sort it out when we've gone as payment for their inheritance. The Age UK book sounds like a good idea, I'm getting stressed just thinking about it though.

Judy54 Tue 01-Sep-20 13:22:05

Yes Bitofayear definitely update your will. A handbook of information for your Executors will also be useful. As others have said details of banks accounts, assets, insurance policies etc will help. As will what funeral arrangements you would like. Mr J is currently putting together information for me on practical things around the house such as where the stop cock is (sad but I really don't know) how to set the boiler and change the clock on it etc. Anything which will be of help to you is worth dealing with now for peace of mind in the future,

Cabbie21 Tue 01-Sep-20 13:43:09

I am up to date on the financial side but not with everything else.
My worry is DH as he is so uncommunicative. I know he has a small part ownership of a property which was his mother’s and pays various expenses in connection with that, but no idea what.

boodymum67 Tue 01-Sep-20 13:57:46

Our eldest is returning home for health and economics reasons. She`s 48 and sees herself with us long term.

This doesn't bother us at all, as we have a bedsit upstairs in our fact it was built for her when she was 16! Hubby`s busy freshening it up.

So here`s where my comments tie in to this thread..........
We have no life insurance nor funeral plans. So I`m looking into the monthly funeral plans. As we are in our late 60s and early 70s, it isn't cheap.

Have you thought about this?

grandtanteJE65 Tue 01-Sep-20 14:08:50

I have a file on an external hard disk that my son knows about and has the password for.

There I have listed all our bank accounts, insurance policies, and told him where to find the deeds of the house, our will etc.

I have also stipulated what I want done with various possessions that it troubles me to think might just be thrown out.

Attending to this, I realised that now was the time to check whether there are letters etc. lying around that I don't want other people to read ever.

Our will also states our wishes regarding funerals and makes provision for any pets that might survive us.

I can't pretend it is pleasant attending to all this, but I have felt so much better after I sorted it all out.

OP, it sounds to me as if your DH is young enough to at least learn how to pay your utility bills, and if you still have children who are minors, perhaps you should teach him how to cook and put on the washing machine. If this isn't feasible, pay the billls by direct debit from an account in both your names, as I do. I got the bank to check my budget and work out with me how much money to transfer into the joint account each month.

EMMF1948 Tue 01-Sep-20 14:17:42

As my husband died earlier this year, not Covid related, I have made sure that my executors know where everything is, one-stop folder listing investments, accounts etc. and passwords so they can access on-line information. When he died I pulled up a spread-sheet to show my daughter and was able to deal with probate, trusts etc., she did comment that had I gone first he would have been stuffed, which is perfectly true!
I intend editing a lot of stuff too, don't want them seeing some of the naughty pics from our youth, especially the videos that I only remembered recently!
Remember that after a death no-one is allowed access to a person's social media accounts without passwords so if you want them to have this then they will need the passwords.

Madgran77 Tue 01-Sep-20 18:26:38

This might be helpful in marshalling your thoughts.

FindingNemo15 Tue 01-Sep-20 18:49:41

I have just received a copy of the AgeUK Life book all I need to do now is fill it in!