Willing, if not able

Thinking about wills (thank you, Tim) reminded me of my mother’s.  One of her quirks in later life was to tweak its details every so often.  Only in minor ways, we found several former wills drawn up over a period of about five years and the main items were the same, but minor specific legacies to my sister and me were changed regularly – she’d left almost everything to us anyway, so there didn’t seem much point to this, but it evidently gave her some satisfaction.  The final change was a bit odd.  She left me her car, which she’d already given to me (before making the change), although I refused to accept the gift in case she became well enough to drive again, which she did, as it happened.  She left Wink a portrait of herself (of Wink, that is) that Wink had always disliked and which she refused to take, so it’s now somewhere in our attic.  The third stipulation was the odd one, though.  She declared that everything in her house should be left exactly as it was – well, obviously she didn’t mean not to clear out the fridge.  The furniture and everything.

Darlings, I’m normally a polite woman but this was a bit much.  “She wants it kept as a shrine?  For how long, forever?  She didn’t even own the house!”

Actually, she’d much have preferred what actually happened, which was that Al moved in (having redecorated and removed much of the furniture) and he and his family still live there.  She’d love that, far more than having all her things still there gathering dust nine years on.  

8 comments on “Willing, if not able

  1. Jane and Lance Hattatt

    Hello Z:
    We are rather in the mind set of your mother, although not at all unhappy, and rather enjoy the whole process of will making and are frequently dreaming up changes to be made which our solicitors effect both with regularity and without a murmur.

  2. Z

    Well, the Sage and I have simply left wills leaving everything to each other, or if one of us has already popped off then to the children. But in view of what you say, I’ll alter the wording a bit – she never wanted to change her will until she became discontented with life – some tweaks were really random! – but that’s probably not a general thing.

  3. Macy

    My mother’s will is a Great Secret, the contents of which are to be known only after her death.
    Now she’s really in the end stages, she’s been asking to see her lawyer. Since she currently thinks she’s in Budapest, I hope no lawyer’s going to judge her to be in sound enough mind….

  4. Z

    I’m so sorry, Macy, it’s very difficult. Memories of good times will come back in the end, and be stronger than those of her in recent years (and I don’t mean because you’re gaga yourself), and you’ll remember her as the mother you used to know.

  5. mig

    We’ve just left everything to each other too except for a few things like my violins and my mother’s jewellery which were either wanted or I don’t want sold out of hand – they might be treasures one day? Or worth something in a pinch.
    It took us about ten years of dithering to get round to actually writing the wills though.

  6. Z

    We want to help our children while we’re alive, not just leave it to them in our wills – mind you, we still have to have enough to live on!


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