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Pen writing will and testament

When We Are Told to “Get Our Affairs in Order”

After being diagnosed with bladder cancer, it quickly became apparent that my cancer was classed as “very aggressive”. It all seemed to happen very quickly. My life became a whirlwind of appointments and procedures over which I had no control. Each TURBT revealed that my cancer was progressing almost at lightning speed.

Recommended to get my “affairs in order”

It was after my second TURBT that I was told that I should “prepare my affairs”. But what exactly did this mean? I had no idea; was I expected not to survive? Although I feared the cancer and the uncertainty of it, the thought that I wouldn’t survive “it” had never really entered my head. “They” will sort me out, surely. What do I need to “sort out?”

What did I need to do?

I then sat and began to think, what is it I need to do? Funeral, wills, finances, preparing my family, what am I supposed to do? I’d never thought about these kinds of things before. But realistically, we all need to. Otherwise, it can make things very difficult for our families at a time when they would be grieving.

The practicalities

First things first, my husband and I had actually made a will a few years earlier, as my mother-in-law had died “intestate,” meaning she hadn’t made a will. This meant that my brother-in-law had to go to court to be granted the “power” to deal with all her affairs. It was quite a grueling task, and we didn’t want our two sons to be left in that position. In fact, our eldest son approached me and his father and asked if we had made a will, as he didn’t want to be put in the position he’d seen his uncle in.

Next, I decided the best thing would be to get a file and put everything in there. This would make it easier for my family, should it be needed.

Finances and other important information

I then needed to get up-to-date details of savings, where they were held, and inform my family. The same with debts such as credit cards, etc. I placed the most up-to-date statements in the file. Most of the utility bills such as gas, electricity, water, sky, TV, etc. were actually in my name. So I set about adding my husband's name to these bills. This would allow him to continue to “deal” with them, should I be unable. Birth and marriage certificates were also placed into the file, along with any other information I deemed important, such as health insurance, company pension details, etc.

The other “stuff”

Families need to be made aware of any particular funeral requests, such as do you want to be buried or cremated? If you are religious, are there any particular hymns or reading you would want? By doing all of the above, it makes things so much easier for the person(s), who will be left to deal with your affairs.

In fact, it’s something that at some point we all need to do, irrespective of whether we have cancer or not. None of us know how long we have, whether we will die from illness or accident, but the one thing that is for sure none of us are here forever.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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