Sunday, 11 September 2011


There are so many things in our lives that we have to prepare for.

We start preparing from very early in life----that big preparation to leave your mothers side and go to school----the preparation (study) for exams at school---that preparation of taking the right courses at school to be ready for that chosen profession.

There is nothing more certain in life than death and taxes.
No matter what we do, we will pay some Government levy---hey, they find some way of getting it out of you.

But do we prepare well enough for the biggest certainty in live.

Ok, you're going to tell be that you have a will, but is it up to date and is it good enough to ensure that your intended beneficiaries actually get the desired benefit with the least fuss and cost.
Does your will have a flow on clause on the off chance that a beneficiary actually dies before you.

The fact is in most of the western world, if you die without a will, your estate will go to your nearest living relative.
My brother died without a will, so his estate should have gone to my parents. The problem with that was that they were on means tested government pensions which would have been reduced by a percentage because of their new found funds.
Luckily I could get them to sign away their entitlement to my favour and I could siphon the funds to them as they required anything. But that took some time and me engaging the services of an estate paralegal---luckily I was friends with the Registrar of Probates for my State and did not need a solicitor for my advice.
Because of the experience, I queried that my parents had good binding will and discovered that like a lot of people from their era, they had will made with a trustee company. I other words, these companies administer the estate of deceased and take a percentage fee for doing so---
In my parents case they had what is called reciprocal wills---each left their estate to the other except if their partner predeceased them, then it went equally divided to their surviving children.
That's fine and simple except my mother would have incurred a debt when my father died to pay the trustees percentage fees and I would have a similar debt when my mother died.
It is cheap to do a will with a trustee company but not so cheap on the beneficiaries----and unfortunately they are black and white---so if you have 5 benificiaries to receive equal value and you have not stipulated any other divisions, then all of your estate must be sold and divided equally----so no one gets granny's ring or the piano from the parlor unless they buy it back from the estate public auction.

The first thing I did after my divorce was finalised was to make a will----because it doesn't matter that you are divorced, you ex spouse can claim to be your nearest living relative and claim your estate.

Look, I'm not going to tell you that will kits are dangerous---hell, they are better than nothing and most of us have someone who we can trust to administer the terms of the will and not try to rip everyone off.
But if you dont want the fights to happen and the whys to be asked and debated, get an estate lawyer to draw up your will and for a fairly modest fee, get them to administer it for you----and for god sake, tell your spouse/family/friends where they will find your will.

Oh, and funeral insurance is not worth having---the premiums will increase as you get older to a point where it becomes unaffordable and it is not a savings bond---dont pay a weekly/monthly premium and it is void---
If you want to purchase a prepaid funeral, do it through a reputable funeral director and it will be a dividend earning bond there for a fully paid funeral.
If you have your will in the hands of an efficient solicitor, your family wont have to worry about funeral costs because your solicitor can negotiate that the costs are an equal division for your estate.

Hey, morbid, maybe, but a guarantee that one day your beneficiaries will collect.

Mine---well ok, I'm single and have no children---so the 1st beneficiary is my dog with her own money and I already have someone who will take her with or without her inheritance, then the rest has percentage divisions between friends and a friend's children.

So make sure that you are ready----it doesn't take too much planning

Oh, one of you is in my will


Macy said...

You're right on that score Clyde. And I'd add that if you care at all about anyone you're leaving behind, do the really great thing and sort out your funeral too as far as possible - clothes you want to wear, the music, the service, preference for flowerrs etc. Not because undertakers are expert in pushing unwanted expenses (they are), but also because it's really upsetting to have to consider embalming preferences, coffin type etc etc etc
I know. I've done it.

Clyde said...


Got it done---no funeral---cremate---ashes on beach---friends to pub with money on the bar.
Yes and it's funny how those caring undertakers dont have some of the cheaper options til you say that you will go elsewhere.
Oh, they dont have to do do embalming or make-up for a cremation, but they tell you that they have to for the pre cremation identification---rubbish

phishez said...

Morbid? No, not really. I think everyone has a secret fear of death, and so being prepared for it is not something people want to consider.

I found this interesting. And writing it was worth it, because it has made at least one person (me) think about the unthinkable.

Personbally, I worry most about my cats. My possessions will be kept by my sister, since we already live toghether. My car will do to whoever needs a new car. Or be sold to cover debts.

Thankfully, even though my family isn't really close, we aren't torn apart, and they will work together to figure it out.

Hopefully in a long, long, long time...

phishez said...

BUT they are ll aware of my funeral plans.

I am an organ donor, and they all know that. Take what can be used, I won't need it anymore. Then burn me in the cheapest way possible.


Good advice. I would like to add that in some countries a will can be filed with the court so it does not 'go missing'.

Friday said...

I wish this post had a 'Like' button..


Clyde said...


I think all single people worry about what will happen to their pets----
I keep saying that someone better find me or my dog will just have to eat me----but I think that she would lay down along side me and come with me

Clyde said...


Hey sweets---hope all is well
Not really a big like, but a big reality.
Hope you dont need it for another lifetime or so

Clyde said...


Good to have it filed somewhere officially---a copy of mine is with a solicitor friend and my friends know where the copy is in the house