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My dear family

 I imagine that what happened was as much a shock to you as it was to me.  Of course, it will take you longer to get over it.  I didn’t expect to die when I did.  Obviously I knew I would at some stage, but not yet.  I thought I was too young.  I wasn’t ill, was reasonably fit and I certainly didn’t think I would go before my parents.  I mean – that’s the natural order of things isn’t it?  Apparently not.

 Because I wasn’t expecting to die yet, I hadn’t put my affairs in order for after I’d gone.  After all, my demise was not expected, so I thought I had plenty of time.  How wrong can you be!   I can see now what a mess I have left behind me, for others to try to deal with.  Looking beyond the initial shock and grieving stage to the practicalities of coping without me, I can see what I should have done to make life less difficult for others and make my wishes clear.

 For example, the house.  Jenny and I had been living together for a year, in the house I bought in my name after my divorce.  If only I had thought about putting it in both our names, not leaving it just in mine.  And when we found out she was expecting our child, well perhaps I should have agreed to marry her.  It’s just that so soon after an acrimonious divorce I was wary of making that sort of commitment again.

 Apart from our expected child, I should have done something to look after Jenny’s daughter.  I loved her as if she were my own, although I could never replace the dad she lost in the accident.   In fact, her dad dying so young in an accident should have prompted me to put my affairs in order – in fairness, Jenny did keep telling me to!   

 And then there is my son from my marriage – how I’ll miss my fortnightly access visits when he came to stay.   What will happen about the regular maintenance payments I was making for him?  His mother is struggling financially and I don’t know how she’ll cope now. She will probably have to take legal advice, which she can’t afford.

 I’m so sorry that I ignored advice about making a Will, where I could have set out what I wanted to happen after my death.  There were so many issues – the house, the new baby, my son, Jenny’s daughter, the fact that Jenny and I weren’t married – all these things are now going to cause such stress to the people I loved the most – quite apart from the financial implications which are going to be a nightmare.  My lack of action means that now the law will decide who gets what, regardless of what I might have wanted.  That really wasn’t the legacy I wanted to leave for those I loved so much.

 I made fun of family, friends and work colleagues who proudly announced they had taken advice and made Wills and tidied up other related issues – you know the sort of thing – tempting fate etc.     If only I had my time again, I’d do the right thing.  I’m so sorry for all the problems I’ve left for all my loved ones to sort out.

 All my love

 And the moral of this sorry tale is……….Don’t let this happen to your loved ones

Take advice and put your affairs in order.

 Our team at Parchment Solicitors specialise in all matters relating to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate and Inheritance Tax planning – as well as Conveyancing – so contact us first for advice.

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