Monday, 30 March 2015

why I don't have a will (yet)

I've seen a few tweets and adverts lately about the importance of making a will, and how it's easier than you think, blah blah blah.  Now, I don't mean to undermine the importance of doing this - obviously it makes things easier for your family once you've gone, and having studied law for five years I also get the need for things to be clear, but, cards on the table - I don't have a will.  Neither does Mr Manley.  This is going to have to change, as soon we'll own a house and need to make things as straightforward as possible 'just in case', but it's not making decisions about the money that's been putting us off.  It isn't about facing our mortality or considering being without one another.  We've been together for fifteen years, married for almost thirteen, and we both know how it would work - if one of us died then the other gets everything.  And that is still the case.  The difficulty lies in what happens if we both die at the same time - what happens to the kids?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

everyday images 23/3


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Joining up with the fab Truly Madly Kids image of the week linky, and my image for this week is Friday, with Smiler showing just how resilient he is!  After being so ill earlier in the week he was back at school on Friday, performing with his school orchestra - I messed up the exposure but wanted to share the joy - I love that look of pride in his face.  

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

spoke too soon...

Having cautioned Noah and Petal repeatedly against getting too fixated on the house, it seems Mr Manley and I both neglected to take our own advice.  The phone call from the estate agent yesterday that began with "I'm afraid I've got some bad news..." was devastating.  

I understand that since the seller took four days to agree to our offer of the asking price then blew us off for a few thousand more (less than £5K, according to the agent) then it was unlikely that the rest of the process would go smoothly.  
I can come up with a couple of negative points about the house, to try and mitigate the distress of losing it, but they fade into insignificance when up against the much much longer list of positive attributes - otherwise we wouldn't have made an offer in the first place.  

What it comes down to is that we'd spent so much time looking at the photos on the website; so many conversations about the process - all new to us and a little intimidating; so much pondering how we'd arrange the downstairs to work for us - so much emotion invested in this house - this house that we thought was going to be our home.

But it's not.

So now we're back to the beginning, feeling all the more raw and empty because we scraped up against a place that seemed so perfect.  Back to scouring the Rightmove website, comparing every property against this idealised vision, knowing it took five months for that place to appear amongst the listings, and wondering if it will be another five months before there is another that ticks all our boxes.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

'this might be a problem' #1

We made an offer on the house.  It's actually very scary to do this kind of thing,  especially when you are very aware that you have no idea what you're doing,  and there's no one you can ask.  But we made an offer, they rejected it, we made another offer and it's been accepted.  I started looking at conveyancers and got my brain in a tangle, so Mr Manley is sorting that bit.  Filling in forms, scanning in various letters and bank statements and all that faffing around.  So far on the 'this might be a problem' list is the fact that I don't have photographic ID.  I haven't left the UK in seventeen years, and had to send my driving licence to the DVLA because the brain cloud means I can't drive, and I now seem to have become some kind of non person.   I have a copy of my birth certificate and a paper trail of name changes, bills in my name at this address, fifteen years of bank statements, blah blah blah, but you explain you have no photo ID and people suddenly raise an eyebrow and look at you suspiciously, as though this means you must be a big time drug dealer or wanted criminal of some other ilk.

My argument is that if I was involved in some kind of complex money laundering enterprise or part of a mafia like crime syndicate I would undoubtedly have fake photo ID.   

But it seems pointing this out to the form filling biro chewing people is not a good idea, FYI.

My mind leaps to mainland Europe in the 1930s and 40s, when everyone had a handful of precious documentation that they kept on their person at all times, so that if challenged they could prove their identity, and thus avoid being arrested or beaten or worse.  But although I have plenty of papers, none of them feature my face, so I'm a kind of non-person in the eyes of the conveyancers.  

Maybe I should get a passport.  Might be easier.

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