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Preparing for the worst - please only read if you have something useful to add(109 Posts)
Don't mean to scare monger at all but preparation helps me to feel in control. And these are things we really should've dealt with before tbh - covid has just brought it home that bit more.
I have two young children 3 and under, we haven't got round to sorting out wills etc so we've had a chat today about basics. How each other would financially cope if the worst was to happen. We need to discuss who we would want the kids to go to.
I also want to write down medications / doses for my kids as both have health issues and their rough routine as I would want them to be as comfortable as possible.
I'm trying to think if I owe anyone any money
Pensions? Death in service payout beneficiaries up to date, information as to where to find paperwork etc?
What funeral arrangements you would want.
Some people write letters for their children to be given to them at different ages. Or record videos.
A list of which companies you use for utilities etc., amount and frequency of payments.
The whereabouts of your will, life insurance documents etc
Powers of Attorney in case you become long term incapacitated
Does anyone know what would happen if say I dropped dead today, would the mortgage etc be put on hold until things were financially resolved? I think if there was only one of us we would need to downsize etc
Draw a family tree for the DC so they can see their roots
Trust funds to mature at 18 or 21
What you want to happen digitally. Not just about whether you'd want a death announcement on Facebook, things like access to email, photos, online bank accounts, etc
Obviously, you need to discuss with whoever you'd like your children to go to. We appointed two people to be our Executors and Guardians of our DD, but it didn't restrict her living with others, if her Guardians felt that was best at the time (as people's circumstances change).
If you have any funeral wishes, cremation, buriel, particular music. This can be put down in writing now and left with your paperwork, although, it might be worth letting someone know you've done this.
@AnotherMurkyDay wow never thought of this.
I think I need to create a folder
Passwords? All our digital photos are backed up on dh's Google photo account.
If you’re on facebook, go into settings and you can nominate someone from your list of friends to take over your fb account in the event of death.
Write down all of your passwords to leave with someone trusted.
We have a fireproof lock box for all our important papers so maybe consider that (and tell somone where the key is!)
Think about how your property is held (if you own it) joint tenants or tenants I common - makes a difference to what you might want to put in the will.
Maybe a living will www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/legal-issues/advance-decisions/
Not really a legal thing, but a notebook with a monthly entry of things you want to tell your child (or children, on per child). What advice you would like to give them when they are teenagers, adults, getting married? If the best happens (and it will probably ;) ) it could be a nice 18th birthday/leaving the house gift. (Yes, it's a bit cheesy but I think that would be the most precious thing a parent can leave to their child)
There used to be a book you could get, called something like "I'm dead, now what?" and it had pages for filling in everything, from family tree to all your accounts, (and passwords if you wished), bank details, who needs paying, where the Will is kept, what funeral you would like and last words to various people. You filled it all in and left it in case you died.
Think they used to be available on Amazon but obviously not right now in the crisis. But I think there are online versions - or at least descriptions of this type of book - which you could research via the internet and make a book/folder or whatever of your own?
Finances - even just a list of the accounts, any shareholdings, , credit cards, insurance policies, pensions, etc. Ideally account numbers, balances, passwords.
Bereavement is the kind of scenario where you might be able to arrange a mortgage payment holiday but it wouldn't be automatic. Accounts that are no joint will be frozen on death until probate is granted, so think about whether the person arranging your affair/looking after the children will be able to afford immediate expenses. You can usually get the funeral expenses paid from the estate before probate is granted but that won't necessarily extend to things like catering, travel, accomodation for next of kin if required.
Ditto utility providers/regular bills, subscriptions.
Email, file sharing and other accounts/passwords.
Instructions/wishes for funeral but also living will in a scenario where you were in a persistent vegetative state (that's probably not the right term any more), couldn't breathe/pump heart unaided etc.
Label family photos and write the stories of any sentimental objects. Family tree.
There are really 2 things to consider;
a) what would happen if you were incapacitated in hospital for a number of days/weeks. (hopefully not you and your DH/DP at the same time), but are there any items that will have to be paid, or dealt with?
b) If you were to succomb to the virus and die.
You said you had not made a will, and do not state whether you are married to your DP or not, as the intestacy laws are different.
Keep a record of your usernames and passwords for your computer, laptop, phone, kindle, etc
You will have many other usernames and passwords for various sites, but you may be using a password manager for this.
Also, know where your house and car insurance, life assurance, etc is kept.
Keep a record of all your bank accounts (not on line bank details, but name of bank, account number, etc). You can keep this in a sealed envelope, etc. If you were to die, no one should be touching your bank account until probate is given, but if you have several accounts, shares, etc, it is helpful if someone was able to track them down.
(I did this last year, and gave a copy to my DS. He lives elsewhere, so if there are any burglaries in the house, it won't mean anything)
Obviously if you are working (whether from home, or elsewhere), your job would need to know. Are there any benefits to be paid from your job?
As your children are very young, I would keep a record of their daily routine. If you are the main carer, this would be helpful if either of you are in hospital.
If you are married then if one of you died the surviving one would be able to claim bereavement support payments. My kids are teenagers but I have written all important contact numbers and bank account details etc on a sheet of paper that my eldest knows where to find it to make things easier for them should we both be ill/ dead.
You can do basic wills online at beyond.life/ as long as you have two other adults who can witness them to make them legally binding. My partner and I did them a couple of weeks ago and got our neighbours to witness them - it was £135 for them both.
Don't know if anyone else has said but you can still do a Will even in the current circumstances. Legal Firms are doing them by email, telephone and post etc.
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