Yes, this post is about death. But in a practical, I-have-no-intention-of-dying-anytime-soon kind of a way. So it’s ok. And not at all weird.
Last year I decided it was about time I made a will. A tiny amount of research led me to believe that if you meet certain criteria it’s pretty safe to make your will online. It was surprisingly easy – you hand over the very reasonable sum of £28, fill out all the details, wait for confirmation that it has been checked by a qualified human, then print it out and surprise two of your colleagues with the odd request of witnessing you sign your last will and testament.
The benefit of having a will is pretty obvious: it’s the way you can have a say in who gets your money and ‘stuff’ when you shuffle off this mortal coil. It means you can divvy things up between people, leave some money to a charity or leave your worldly wealth to a beloved pet.*
Making the will got me thinking about death generally and, more specifically, about my funeral. I have some STRONG FEELINGS relating to how my funeral/memorial fiasco should go down and it makes far more sense to put these things down on paper than to just hope that someone I’ve told remembers and is around at the right time, hopefully many years down the line. Last week I finally got round to doing this and I rattled down the important, won’t go into it here, part but then started to think about the other elements. I completely failed with music requests, so apologies funeral organisers, you’re on your own. It’s hard to think of songs that are happy but not entirely inappropriate when someone has just died. For example, my current favourite song is a Bright Eyes tune called First Day of My Life but I’m just not sure that a funeral is the time for irony.
What was much easier to pin down was the dress code: no black (with an exception made for my brother as I don’t think he owns anything else). I’ve also included a reminder that a certain friend should come dressed in a chicken suit. I can’t remember how this came to be proposed (it was several years ago) but feel that it would lighten the mood rather well.
Something I now realise I didn’t mention is the food, but you can’t go to far wrong with a buffet. I do so love a buffet and am more than a little disappointed that I’ll be missing out on this one.
* Don’t do that.
Writing a will/planning your funeral
Vaguely interesting fact: A holographic will is one that is handwritten, signed and dated by the person but not witnessed. It could include a will written in the dust of a car bonnet by a person dying while lost in the desert. Validity of such wills varies depending on where you are.
Verdict: Writing a will is an incredibly easy thing to do, especially considering how grown up and important it is. If you own property or anything else of significant value, you should give it some thought.