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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Where there's a will there's a way

#1

Anyone in the process of writing their will? Or thinking of doing so? Or jolly pleased with the excellent job they’ve already made of it?

I don’t expect to die of PsA, much as I might feel as if I already have on certain days. However I am in the process of writing my will, or rather a solicitor is. And a big consideration here in the UK is whether residential care may be required at some time as the worse case scenario is that assets and money disappear rapidly in that event and there are things you can do to lessen the impact.

I think that having PsA increases my chances of needing residential care. I’d fight tooth & nail against it but am trying very, very hard to be realistic. My other half, who is also tackling his will, cannot understand why I am looking ahead and at least considering all eventualities. Yet it seems a good will covers differing scenarios: ‘if A happens then B applies’ and so on through the alphabet if you want to make things as simple as possible for those who survive you. I do not want to leave the people I love with a total financial & legal mess. I reckon having a chronic condition makes us a little more aware of the curve balls life can throw at us.

I would love to hear what others think and feel about will-making. It’s depressing the hell out of me but it’s also a little bit interesting.

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#2

My husband and I made a will a number of years ago but we need to write up new ones.

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#3

This is on our “to do” list as well. We’ve been put in touch with a solicitor who specialises in long term care financial planning/provision, pensions, powers of attorney (essential these days even if you’re married to your next of kin), living wills etc. I’m expecting it to be complicated and we don’t have children!

Agree it’s a little bit depressing to tackle but an awful lot less depressing than the mess we could end up with if we don’t address it properly and far better to do it now when everything is relatively “well” than be trying to put adequate paperwork in place if, goodness forbid, there is a crisis.

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#4

Interesting that you brought this up. I’ve been thinking about writing a will for a while and need to get started. You bring up some good issues about long-term care.

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#5

@Stoney, fair play to you … we did make wills ourselves - internet template - when we were younger but they were appalling and then we lost them.

@Jules_G, yep, we’re arranging power of attorney too. It is so very important. I’ve wondered if inflammatory disease increases the chance of dementia … Haven’t heard that it does but of course such things need to be considered by everyone regardless.

@Frances, it’s not a fun prospect is it?

I emailed my sons to ask if they’d be executors. One replied back straight away thus: ‘No problemo! It’ll be interesting!’

I’m currently compiling a better response for him to use should anyone else ask the same of him. So far I’ve come up with: ‘No problem. I think it may help me deal with the OVERWHELMING GRIEF which undoubtedly I will be feeling …’

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#6

Delighted to hear you’re both using solicitors @Sybil and @Jules_G being in the UK. I get too many queries still from people using the equivilent of a WH Smith Will Pack which sends my blood running cold.

Setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney too or at least drafting them without registering them is something to think about too. There’s two of them one for financial affairs and one for medical affairs and they’re a truly good idea when needed. Especially if you end up losing mental capacity.

And long term care plans in UK is probably essential planning but incredibly expensive whichever way you look at it. Our capacity as a society to look after our elderly is well past its sell by date that’s for sure.

And yes it is depressing and sobering. And no I haven’t done it yet either. I still can’t sort of believe I’m 57 yet. My head/emotions thinks I’m still in my 30’s at least. But it’s great to be reminded.

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#7

Best to do these things while we are still young :upside_down_face:

I saw problems with wills break apart families that thought they loved each other when I was volunteering for CAB.

Seems to me that making wishes known is as important as embodying them in the will. For example, if one partner predeceases the other & inherits all, would they have a clear idea of the other partner’s wishes if things change. I am sure my husband would look out for my kids but if one beneficiary’s needs became greater than the others I’d want him to re-apportion any money etc. so that it would do the most good. I’m not going to assume that he’d ‘just know’ what I wanted him to do. I’m trying to have these conversations now but he finds it difficult.

I want to do the will and lock it away literally and metaphorically but I think it’s actually the beginning of some difficult but necessary conversations. And only then we can put it all to the back of our minds where it belongs.

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#8

Hi! It’s been awhile since I last posted but I’m always lurking around on the perimeter keeping up with things. :blush:Making plans for when we’re totally decrepit and/or dead are so much fun! :confused:But, alas, it needs to be done.

My husband and I are fortunate enough to have a dear friend who is an estate attorney. We don’t have a large estate or a lot of money and no children but we did want to be sure what we leave behind was handled according to our wishes. Complicating factors are not just my PsA but the 10 yr age difference between us. Statistically I will outlive him by probably 20 yrs, provided a comorbidity doesn’t kick in and the Grim Reaper comes a knocking. But even so my tendency to survive EVERYTHING (and familial longevity) probably means I’ll be the last person alive. On the. Entire. Face. Of. The. Earth. :woman_facepalming:But I digress.

We attempted doing our own and asked our friend to just check it out to see how badly we botched it. He refused any payment and offered to redo it. Which was a good thing. We hadn’t done too badly but had overlooked a couple of things that would have made life for the executor miserable. Just a couple of points to consider, if you haven’t already.

-We wrote the will in such a way that if one of us predeceased the other the survivor got everything. But if we were both injured in the same incident (ya know plane crash, car accident, tidal wave, zombie apocalypse, etc) and one lived longer than the other by less than 30 days it would be considered that we died at the same time. This seems like splitting hairs but it’s not. If we die at the same time our estate is distributed according to both of our wishes but if one of us lived 31 days then died the entire estate would be distributed according to that persons wishes.

-We kicked around who the executor should be and decided not to appoint a relative. We had seen people morph into hostile aliens when there was a chance of acquiring money that they did not have to work for. We did not want a relative to live with that sort of hostility long after everything was said and done. Our friend agreed to also be our executor.

-There were family members whose inheritance we did not want to pass to their spouses/children in the event they predeceased us. He was able to put that into the precise legal verbiage necessary.

-From my prior experience working in a bank I knew that POAs, even a Durable Power of Attorney, is null and void upon a persons death. We had to have Letters of Testamentary or some other legal document stating who was the representative of the estate. Unfortunately until we had that in hand all accounts were locked and money unavailable. Unless the accounts were jointly held with right of survivorship. In that case, of course, the joint owner had access to the funds. And don’t forget about safety deposit boxes! (I’m in the States and have no knowledge of other countries banking/estate laws)

-He also drew up the proper documents to give us access to the other’s electronic data etc in the event of incapacity. A Durable/General POA is not always worded appropriately to gain access to such information.

-Since my husband is a veteran LTC (long term care) for him is available through the VA. We’re still trying to come up with something for Madam Survivor. (Sometimes being a survivor is kinda sucky especially with extreme longevity genes…) The multigenerational tradition of our family is that we take care of our own until death. My parents cared for my father’s bedridden mother until her death. My mother’s mother lived with us until her death. My mother (95 yrs old) lives with a sister somewhere warmer than Alaska. But we have no children and I do not expect nieces or nephews to take in the decrepit funky old aunt who has always lived 3,000 miles away and seen only for a few days once a year. So I’m really interested what y’all turn up for LTC. Hopefully something affordable…

Sorry this is as long as a gothic novel and I know it’s more about wills in general than LTC but I guess I just couldn’t help myself. :pensive:

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#9

It’s awesome! Yes the system is a little different in the UK but there’s still lots that is relevant to me, more still for US members.

This whole process really is about so much more than just the letter of the law / bureaucracy isn’t it? It’s very much about people & relationships.

#10

That’s so true. Remember with your Will you can also leave notes or letters explaining things if that helps put minds at rest, yours primarily. However what rules is of course what provisions you put in your Will.

My Mum was of the view she had 4 children and whilst some might have had more need at the time of her death, she felt it very important indeed to simply apportion things equally 4 ways. As an executor and indeed a beneficiary, I can tell you that made things a whole lot easier. No one had a grudge about what another received. It helped, an awful lot frankly.

#11

Good point.

I’m going to talk to my kids, I think they’re of the same mind as me but what I’m realising is that this all needs to be overt - no assuming I know how people feel and what they want. And it then has to become common parlance ‘when Mum dies x will happen’, that’s what I want anyway.

Except it feels really strange to be doing some straight talking about what will happen when I’m dead!