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to expect my close family to have an 'In the event of my death' plan?

(70 Posts)
MeRightYouWrongMeBigYouSmall Sat 28-May-11 19:22:02

Just had a terrible two weeks, what with the death of a family member together with constant bickering from various members of the family over the 'arrangements' Why do these things always bring arguments?

I'd rather not go into the details of the bickering exactly, but I wanted to let you all know this because it was the reason behind the following conversation:

I have spoken to my DP & parents and told them exactly what I'd like to happen when I pass on - I have no will at this stage (this is next on my agenda tbh) but feel that if everyone knows my wishes then it minimises any arguing when the time finally comes.

So, as we were discussing this I asked my parents if they had made wills to which they replied "No, why would we have a will - we have nothing to leave to anyone smile " Which is far enough IMO but I told them that I'd like to know what their 'wishes' were for funeral arrangements, after a lengthy conversation we agreed that they would write an 'In the event of my death' letter and seal it in an envelope leaving it with the rest of the important paperwork.

I mentioned this to a friend who was horrified that I'd had this conversation with my parents - she said it was like wishing their lives away!

Would you rather discuss these things? Or just leave it to be dealt with when the time comes?

As this thread is 'skirting' around death I'm sorry if it is not to your taste, it is not my intention to offend anyone. My friend has kind of made me feel guilty and I'd like to get different points of view.

pjmama Sat 28-May-11 19:25:37

Sounds perfectly sensible to me. Last time we updated our wills, we were advised to do something along the same lines if we had specific wishes as requests regarding things like funerals can be missed if added to wills as they're sometimes not referred to until after the funeral has already taken place.

If your family were happy with doing this, then its really none of your friend's business and her opinion isn't relevant.

socka Sat 28-May-11 19:27:54

Jeez we all have to die, its not distasteful. Very sensible in my opinion.
For what its worth I would like 12 pure white marble angels weeping over my grave. I will expect no less and may be disappointed in the afterlife

pinkhebe Sat 28-May-11 19:28:17

My Mum has written exactly what she wants her funeral arrangements to be, it's much easier to talk about this type of thing if everyone is healthy.

DH's family don't like talking about death though.

Tee2072 Sat 28-May-11 19:28:59

Absolutely sensible. My mother recently updated her 'what I want' letter and officially named my brother (because he lives in the US and I don't) her POA for medical issues if my step father predeceases her or is also incapacitated.

It's not morbid. Death is a fact of living. If you don't plan for it, you're stupid, IMHO. And I almost never use the word stupid as I hate it. But I think it is appropriate in this instance.

Goodynuff Sat 28-May-11 19:29:33

I had to have this conversation recently with my Mum. My father passed about 7 years ago, and I ended up deciding what to do, as my Mum was too overwhelmed, and my siblings are all younger, so turned to me.
I know that my Mum has mentioned in passing that she "wants to donate her body" but has never looked into it. We also live in a very isolated area of Northern Ontario, so that most likely when she passes, donation will not be an option.
She has also remarried, so there is another person's feeling into the equation.
At first she was resistant, but I told her it was because I loved her, that as the eldest it would likely be my job, and I wanted to do right by her. She still wont put it into writing, but at least we have talked about it now.

SardineQueen Sat 28-May-11 19:30:19

I completely agree with you. We have wills, and people know what our wishes are regarding the children if anything were to happen to us, my parents are also very open and we know what's in their wills etc and what they want.

It's just common sense to me. But I know that a lot of people feel uncomfortable about it.

Actually my DHs family are in a right pickle at the moment precisely because none of them have talked about this stuff or sorted anything out for a couple of generations and now it is just one godawful mess and is going to cost £££ to sort out which is the last thing the person who has to deal with it all needs, what with having lost their spouse and everything. I think they have been very silly but keep my mouth shut for obvious reasons.

lesley33 Sat 28-May-11 19:31:44

Very very sensible. Even if there is no arguing, when you are grief stricken the last thing you want to do is work out what your parents would have wanted. My parents refuse to even think about what they want!

justpaddling Sat 28-May-11 19:31:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redexpat Sat 28-May-11 19:38:29

Not unreasonable at all! My Mum informed us when I was 12 that her instructions for her funeral are in her jewellery box! Inspired by Mum's actions I've asked my Dad for his funeral wishes a couple of times and his response is 'surprise me'.

MeRightYouWrongMeBigYouSmall Sat 28-May-11 19:40:57

ha - "surprise me" sounds like something my dad would say....

Initially my parents made a joke about it, saying that they wanted stuffing and set on top of the tv!!!

GinSlinger Sat 28-May-11 19:46:22

I agree completely. I have the whole thing arranged from start to finish because I'm a control freak well organised

HannahHack Sat 28-May-11 19:53:40

It drives me crazy the way some people refuse to make funeral arrangements. My grandfather didn't and I know some people (who are normally completely chillaxed about these kinds of things) are still bitter about the way the funeral went!
A lot of friends and family who are atheists say that it doesn't matter, but if I am honest, it matters more as there is no pre-defined way to arrange a non-theistic funeral.
I went to the funeral of a great aunt last year and she had written her own funeral service and it was one of the greatest services I have ever been to. I am taking a leaf out of her book! Really, why would you not. It's the only thing you don't have to consult anyone else on!

GinSlinger Sat 28-May-11 20:01:50

I have chosen the music and everything but I have drawn the line at writing a script for them all to follow about 'how fab and wonderful I was and how it's such a sad loss etc' - but give me time

MadamDeathstare Sat 28-May-11 20:07:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoMeDon Sat 28-May-11 20:10:54

I think it WBU to 'expect' people to have a plan - as per title- but it can be really awkward when people have no will/plans. I actually think it is quite selfish to just ignore what others will have to arrange for you when you die.

As for rest of your OP - YANBU at all - your friend sounds as if she can't face reality. It's a massive pressure to decide all that for someone else. I have had a will since I was in my 20's as I had to decide it all when my nan died, I never want to put that on anyone else.

HannahHack Sat 28-May-11 20:12:51

While we are at it, could we have some tips. I had a spate of funerals last year and I need to start writing my wishes down. How do you do it? (I am young and healthy btw, not particuarly morbid either!)

SmethwickBelle Sat 28-May-11 20:16:08

I think you are very sensible. I need to do more.

Even the friendliest families can be pulled apart by trivial misunderstandings and presumptions when loved ones die. I've seen it happen!

justpaddling Sat 28-May-11 20:16:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Sat 28-May-11 20:17:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LordOfTheFlies Sat 28-May-11 20:18:08

My parents have organised and paid for their funerals mainly I think to take away all the financial worry off their families. It must be difficult for relatives under pressure to buy the'best' coffin/headstone etc.But if someone knows what they want in advance its all sorted.
BTW after my organs are harvested for transplant I want a Marks & Spencers Tea at my wake and Paul Potts (BGT winner) to sing "Time to say goodbye".With all the Italian bits.

Maryz Sat 28-May-11 20:27:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HannahHack Sat 28-May-11 20:29:31

@Madam thanks!

ScaredyDog Sat 28-May-11 21:05:04

Had a similar, but must less serious conversation, with my Dad today.

His ideas include people coming into the crematorium to "If you don't know me by now" and leaving to "Smoke gets in your eyes" - I kid you not that he's not joking either.

dreamofwhitehorses Sat 28-May-11 21:13:59

My mother keeps complaining about how the money is building up in her funeral savings plan. For her birthday next year she is planning to spend it on an advance funeral party. We have suggested plumed horses and hired mourners but she told us to p*ss off. I thought a 'paint a coffin' party would be cool.

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