Advanced Care Directive and Will and....
I went with my late friend's sister to see the company which is responsible for executing my friend's will. It has taken longer than it should for a number of reasons.
One is that the company in question is trying to gain control of her sister's affairs. They pounced when her sister was at her most vulnerable and, since then, they have been trying to get her to agree to handing over all her affairs.
She has no other family - unless you count me. I am not related by blood. In the eyes of the law I don't count. Her sister and I considered we were sisters and I promised to watch out for her but I don't have the legal right to interfere.
But yesterday she asked me to go with her to yet another meeting. The executor company agreed I should be there - something I suspect they now regret.
We went after we had talked between ourselves. "You do the talking" she told me.
I didn't do all the talking. That would have been wrong but, at the points where they started to try and put pressure on her I intervened.
There are three things she needs desperately.
The first is a Power of Attorney. They want that. She wants someone she knows personally. She will in fact end up with two people - me and Middle Cat. I did it for her sister along with her cousin's son. He doesn't need to be involved this time because there is no real estate to be sold. The company wants to be "substitute" but that's not necessary if there are two people willing to act. It only needs to happen if she becomes incompetent to manage her day to day affairs. That hasn't happened yet. It may never happen
The second is an "Advanced Care Directive" - essential a medical power of attorney. It's a separate issue from the other one. The company in question cannot act in this capacity. It has to be an individual. It makes sense to have someone with medical knowledge - Middle Cat and I have that too. We also have good access to other medical knowledge if need be. I also makes sense that the people with that power have some access to a person's financial affairs. There is always the question of whether money can be spent on equipment or drugs outside their health fund. Again it may never happen.
She "doesn't want to bother" us of course. She is a very private sort of person. I can understand that - but someone has to do the latter so it makes sense to do the former as well. I have done it before and so has Middle Cat. We know what we are potentially letting ourselves in for. We know we can't be paid for it.
The executor company couldn't be paid for doing it either - but they can charge for "expenses" and they would charge like a wounded bull. It is one of the ways in which they make money.
So, today I will get the necessary forms ready for her. I will leave the places for the names blank. She can fill those in herself. It will give her one last chance to change her mind if she wants to do so. I am not going to put her under the sort of pressure they have put her under. I suspect it is more likely to get results.
Her will is a different story. That is going to take some work. There is a considerable sum of money there. She would like to leave it to charity and that seems only right if she has no family. The company had ideas about that too - ideas that would earn them income. I've explained. I know there are ways of ensuring that charitable gifts don't end up being used on paving car parks.
This could all have been sorted out long ago - if the company was not looking at what was best for them rather than best for her and those she would like to benefit.