It’s probably one of the most awkward conversations Rich and I have had: the discussion about whether to draw up wills. I’m one of these people that would happily live in a world full of fluff and glitter and unicorns … I turn the news off if it’s too sad and will refuse to watch anything too gory, scary or violent. But from past experience I felt that when it came to our kids’ futures I couldn’t leave my head in the clouds and shy away from what in my eyes was a necessary evil.
In my ‘other’ job which is within the legal profession, the bitterest disputes I’ve witnessed have been those surrounding wills and probate. Usually where someone has died and hasn’t left a will. Or where they have left a will but other family members have disputed it. As with most people, when we bought our current home it was the biggest financial commitment we had ever made. Lyra was only eight months old at the time but I wanted to try my best to ensure that if the worst was to happen, that she would be provided for. And that she wouldn’t be dragged into a horrible legal argument. Hence me prompting that awkward conversation.
Once we had decided to go ahead, there were yet more awkward conversations with our San Diego probate attorney. And the fact that Rich and I aren’t married made it all the more complicated. I remember sitting in a grey characterless office being asked to have a think about some really sad situations. Who would we want to look after Lyra and any future kids in the event that we both died at the same time? What would happen to the property if we split up and either of us married new partners? At which age did we think Lyra was responsible enough to receive an inheritance if both of us passed away whilst she was still little? Seriously, really tough.
Now it’s all over and done with, however, I do feel like a weight has been lifted. In terms of time and cost, it only took a couple of weeks of to-ing and fro-ing with the solicitor to get the wills finalised, and we paid £387 in total. It may seem a lot of money but I’d say it’s worth it for peace of mind, if nothing else. Of course, as we’ve since had a second child I do need to review our wills and double check that they’re still up-to-date (*adds this task to the ever-increasing To Do list in my iphone notes).
Sorry if this post has been all doom and gloom. It’s definitely an important subject, albeit a bit of a tricky and possibly taboo one. I promise normal service will resume tomorrow!
Have you (and your other halves) drawn up a will? At what age/stage of life do you think a will is a necessity? Or not at all? Are you surprised at the statistic that says that over half of British adults haven’t made a will?