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Mumsnetters share with Cancer Research UK the life admin that they never get around to doing, including updating or writing their Will

313 replies

LucyBMumsnet · 20/01/2020 10:30

This sponsored discussion is now closed. Thank you to everyone who posted on this thread.

Often when we have children, it feels impossible to find the time to do anything that isn’t absolutely crucial…and before you know it, there are things on your to-do-list which have been on there for well over a year or decade. Those little jobs around the house, buying a gift for your OH, clearing out the wardrobe or – one you might not have thought of – sorting out your Will. With this in mind, Cancer Research UK would like to hear about the things you struggle to get around to doing.

Here’s what Cancer Research UK has to say: “We know that updating your Will or writing one from scratch can be a daunting prospect, and one of those things that you might feel just isn’t a priority right now. However, we think writing a Will is far too important to ignore; if you don’t, not only could you leave your loved ones with distressing admin, but it also means the law would decide how your estate is distributed – and this might not be in line with your wishes. Cancer Research UK offer a Free Will Service open to anyone over the age of 18 which guides you through the process step by step, and you can have your Will written within 30 minutes, and tick that job off your list.”

What are the odd-ends you never seem to get around to doing? What are the things that stand in the way of you sorting these out? Where does writing or updating your Will feature on your to-do list (if at all!)? Do you think Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service would help you?

All who share their thoughts and feelings on the thread below will be entered into a prize draw where 3 lucky MNers will each win a £100 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck,

Insight T&Cs apply

*If you'd like to find out more about CRUK’s Free Will Service and legacy gifts please click here

Mumsnetters share with Cancer Research UK the life admin that they never get around to doing, including updating or writing their Will
OP posts:

excitedemmi · 23/01/2020 18:23

Wrote a will when I got a cat so I knew she would be cared for if anything happened. Need to get round to updating it as we've had a change in assets since then. House admin I'm usually pretty good at being on top, except for DIY jobs that I can't reach, so anything to do with gutters or damp, and anything outside because I'm not outdoorsy.


OnTheEdgeOfTheNight · 23/01/2020 20:00

Reviewing and consolidating pensions is another task that is perhaps forgotten about or put off for too long. In fact most financial decision making is probably the same. In theory the Internet should make this stuff easier - comparison sites and online investment information etc being readily available, but here we are on mumsnet just passing the time before the kids are asleep 😀.

One thing I would be interested about regarding wills etc is whether someone could come up with a simple form that's more like a nominations form, to help tidy up your affairs. You'd select from a list of options "single person", "married", "parent" etc and it'd take you through the basics of setting out your affairs. "You answered yes to q3 do you own any savings accounts, please list them here." "You answered no to q8 is your car owned outright, please give details of the car finance agreement." Then print it out, and leave it with your other important documents to make it easier for whoever is sorting your estate.

I also wonder whether there should be an age at which we encourage our children to make out a simple will. Perhaps having one when leaving education and starting work would get us in the habit of having one, and keeping it up to date?


PashleyB · 23/01/2020 21:01

Pensions and faffing about there which I am not enjoying sorting and procrastinating about it. Also things like switching phone providers - the logical part of me says to do it but I never just sit down and do it


Petitcanard · 23/01/2020 21:33

We keep putting off making a will since we have different family backgrounds and we struggle with the idea of how we should divide our assets (he has DC from a previous relationship, I don’t). We also find ourselves sorting out things for elderly parents on both sides so we seem to prioritise their needs over ours. I’m sure we’ll get everything organised... eventually!


VirginiaCreeper · 23/01/2020 21:40

Wills written and updated every 5 years since DC were born. The last change we made when they were both competent adults and no longer needed trusts.
The task I never do and should is to clear out the attic of everything that was of sentimental value to me but not my children. They really don't need to find the diaries I kept when they were babies or letters from old boyfriends of 40 years ago.


Sugarhouse · 23/01/2020 21:41

I have never gotten round to writing a will. I also never shop around for better utility bill deals even though I always tell myself I will


Valkarie · 23/01/2020 22:04

Got a will done soon after child 1. Still on the to do list after the second one. Better not die or the first one gets the lot.


Tanfastic · 23/01/2020 22:14

Me and DH both have mirror wills but I've always worked for lawyers so it's been kind of drummed into me that everyone needs one.


buckley1983 · 23/01/2020 23:28

Embarassingly, my husband & I still haven't got round to making a will. This is something we really have to do.. & reading this thread has made me realise we need to do it now! We have discussed what would happen in terms of care for our son if the worst should happen & we have agreed this with his godparents verbally, but we have nothing on paper.
This has reassured me that it doesn't have to be massively time consuming, but saves a lot of time & upset for family following a bereavement.


AlliKaneErikson · 24/01/2020 00:56

I’m terrible for putting things off and always have a last minute rush to do things line my tax return, car tax etc. This thread has made me realise I really need to sort out a will, though.


ButterflyOfFreedom · 24/01/2020 06:36

We've both done wills - but not had them signed!! So partly way there! It was on our to do list for ages, a health scare prompted us to get on with it (though all fine now). I think it is important but just a morbid subject to think about!


NewNameGuy · 24/01/2020 07:17

I start, then I try to work out who should have custody of the kids and the dog, and then I decide I should attach power of attorney....

Then I give up!!
Also when I have had quotes they're always insane to basically sign and store a piece of paper


JS06 · 24/01/2020 08:55

We do have our wills written and like to keep up to date with all 'major' life admin like that including insurances, trusts and keeping the right people informed.

The odds and ends we never seem to get around to doing are sort outs of the loft with a few decades of 'stuff', also clearing out the garage. It seems such a minefield that we put it off!

If I didn't have a will I think Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service would help and would urge those who haven't got one already to seriously consider it.


hypatiently · 24/01/2020 08:56

I was diagnosed in 2013 with breast cancer and considered writing a will at the time but I was 32 and the only thing of value I owned was my engagement ring.

After a mastectomy and chemo and other treatments, I waited and desperately wished for a baby. I am now fortunate to have a beautiful nine month old boy. I know my husband and I should have a will to protect him but thinking about it stirs up sad memories and fears of my cancer returning. We put off doing too many things - trying to live every day to its fullest!

It would be fantastic to have help with with Will writing and I'm delighted to find out that Cancer Research UK offer a free Will Service. If they could only sort out my closet, pension, getting a mortgage, and find time for me to get a haircut - I would be a completely organised and presentable person!!


MissKittyFantastico84 · 24/01/2020 09:19

Writing wills is absolutely at the top of the list right now - it's just hard to sit down and do it, and I'm still not 100% sure we're going about it in the right way aka using an online provider.

Most charity services seem to have age limits on them aka 55 plus. Seems silly when the worst can happen at any age really... sadly.


starray · 24/01/2020 11:39

Keep meaning to write one but don't know where to start. More questions than answers. Does a will feature things like - who will look after your kids after you die? HOW you want them to be looked after? Where you want them to live? Or is it just about money and possessions (Of which I hardly have any)

Another thing I keep putting off is writing my insurance policy in trust - which I read somewhere is supposed to be good, but not quite sure why!


Howmanysleepsnow · 24/01/2020 11:50

I haven’t made one. I should at least sort out beneficiaries from my life insurance but am struggling to decide...
If I die first, obviously DH needs my half of the house. But 2 of “our” DC aren’t biologically his, so wouldn’t then inherit anything. But I have nothing to leave other than the house and the insurance payout (most of which is to cover the mortgage) so really can’t understand my options. I know I should get advice but with irregular income I just can’t spare the money at the moment.
If DH made a will too it’d solve it, but he’s convinced he’ll go first!


Ragwort · 24/01/2020 13:19

Virginia, I made myself throw out all my old 'love letters' (from boyfriends, not my DH Grin), that I had been saving since university- I am over 60 now!

I just didn't like the thought of anyone else finding them, we recently had to clear out a relative's house and there were some very personal items that I had to deal with discreetly without letting closer relatives know, it can be very sad (and embarrassing).


Wilberforce1 · 24/01/2020 14:57

We have 2 children and no will, we really need to do one but have absolutely no one to leave our Children with and it breaks my heart so I can't think about it. Our parents are too old and both of our siblings are a big no so what do we do? Sitting down and writing a will would mean actually facing this and discussing it so we just ignore it.


pastaparadise · 24/01/2020 17:03

Dp and i did our wills together when pregnant with dc1, particularly as we arnt married. A dying tidily plan sounds helpful, although would need me to remember all my passwords...

However, lots i never seem to get round to, both big and small eg

  • cancelling phone contract
  • checking and consolidating pensions
  • setting up savings accounts for dc
  • power of attourney
  • photo books
  • tax return this weekend!

feetfreckles · 24/01/2020 19:31

Never written our wills,

when dd was young I just couldn't think what would best happen to her. Ok no excuse now she has grown up.

It's only a few years since my parents actually wrote their wills, and that was only after dad was diagnosed with cancer.

Why not? No idea what you really have to do. How long it would take.


T0tallyFuckedUpFamily · 24/01/2020 20:20

I’m absolutely ridiculous, because I keep saying I need to make a will, but always find something putting me off. I lost my husband to cancer and he didn’t have a will, but thankfully there was no one to contest my ownership of our home. I think it’s the complicated family situation that keeps putting me off. My three are adults but my youngest will always need someone to care for her and I’m so worried about writing it wrongly and someone taking her money. I need advice, rather than just a simple will.


claza93 · 24/01/2020 20:43

Still haven't got round to writing a will which worries me as a parent of five children. My biggest worry is what would happen to them if we both died at the same time :(


ichbineinstasumer · 24/01/2020 22:03

I wrote a DIY will before I had DC3, who is now ten! I know I need to do it, my DH has always said why bother we have nothing to leave except the house which is in joint names (assuming we don't die together). I think I just don't want to face it, writing a will makes you confront your own death. I also think it's expensive, although I know that compared to most legal advice it isn't. I will look at CRUK's website, they support a lot of valuable research and I would like to support them.


Quietvoiceplease · 24/01/2020 22:03

The things that are most difficult to get round to are the life-admin that is important but not urgent. So we are really good I think at managing the normal rise and fall of school letters, bills, MOTs etc. It's the longer-term stuff that just gets overlooked in the usual juggle of home and work: things like comparing saving rates and products, mortgage deals, wills etc. We do have a will - which we made over a decade ago, but have not reviewed it to see whether it ought to be changed.
A free impartial will service is a great idea - one of the things that sort of puts me off is not quite knowing where to go, and not wanting to pay a very large fee to a solicitor.

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