03 April 2016


I am faced with a new dilemma. Loss of memory. It’s not a permanent loss, more like forgetfulness at particular times. The business of retrieving Joe’s will has been a real trial for me for the following reason.

A few years ago Joe and I wanted to rewrite our wills and he had the idea of using the will writing service at Skipton Building Society. Those of you who don’t live in the UK won’t have heard of it but UK residents might have.

We went in for mirror wills – as they called them then. It meant that Joe and I left our estate to each other. It seemed like a good idea at the time. By that I don’t mean the act itself was wrong, it was using Skipton that was the big mistake. However, we weren’t to know that at the time.

Joe died on 20 January and as I write this on 1st April the will is still held by Skipton even though the request for its release was sent immediately Joe died. 

The whole thing has caused memory failure for me. I didn’t realise I was losing it until I became submerged in worry and pressure. I guess at 82 (next month) I am entitled to be forgetful. I have a system that I adopted to help in the forgetfulness. I write notes, scores of them, which works most of the time. However, when pressed by worry and stress the memory goes AWOL and that is something other people don’t seem to understand. Actually, it’s not something I understand either. Sometime I shed tears of frustration when I realise I’ve forgotten something important and dealing with solicitors and legal stuff is the worst time. Pressure and things I don’t understand makes me worse. I can cope with everyday matters but the brain gives up when faced with anything new and complicated. Legal stuff, for example. Yet I can run my WI without any problems.

The worst thing is dealing with people and saying the wrong thing. Seeing the frustration on their faces is awful. Attitudes change, too. Hearing the words ‘I told you’ is particularly killing. I  
mean, how can I tell them I will remember at a later date – which is true. It’s as if a curtain is drawn over something I don’t understand and then opens when the brain is more relaxed. How frustrating is that for ME let alone other folk?

But back to the Will.

To my mind, and the minds of those with real thinking powers, there is no earthly reason why the Will cannot be released. Okay, they want £200 to do it (hints at compensation have been made) but that piece of information has only just been presented. The first excuse was that the Will was ‘lost’. Then, after I visited Skipton’s local branch, it was suddenly ‘found’ at their head office. That was a few weeks ago.

There were three people named as executors of the Will. Skipton (because they wrote it), Me, and Joe’s daughter, Rosanne. As I see it we were all of equal standing but Skipton say they need to ‘step down’ ... an action that seems to warrant a Royal Pardon. It’s only a name on a piece of paper, for God’s sake! Neither Joe nor I were told at the time of drawing up our wills that Skipton would class themselves as ‘head boy’ and demand money to step down from that position. It seems that Rosanne and I had no say in the matter. My solicitor is dealing with it but progress is extremely slow. I feel like exposing the company on the media but it would only prolong the matter. I dread to think of the solicitor’s bill when it’s all over.

I hope I haven’t bored you with this but it helped me to get something down on paper and then on the blog. Who knows, with a bit of luck an employee of Skipton might read it. Preferably their CEO. Well, just in case he does pop in for a read let me tell him that I have written a new Will - to be held by my Solicitor’s firm ... and to hell with Skipton! 


  1. Oh dear Valerie, that company sounds awful. So sorry you are having to deal with this on top of what you have had to go through. No wonder you are a bit forgetful. It sounds totally stressful. Stress always makes me that way. Hope your solicitor can sort the situation out for you. Do you have some kind of consumer report where you can see if others have had the same kind of treatment from them?

  2. Valerie, I was going to ask the same thing Denise did...

    " Do you have some kind of consumer report where you can see if others have had the same kind of treatment from them?"

    If you do, perhaps you see their track record and then report them for poor treatment.

    I can only imagine how stressful this must be for you because it's not something you should have to deal with after Joe's passing. I mean, the whole reason we make a Will is so that all the legal stuff is easier to deal with after someone dies.

    However, I too have noticed myself getting more and more forgetful. In fact, I was just talking about this topic with someone at work earlier this week. She too is experiencing the same thing.

    Anyway, I hope you get the Will all worked out quickly.

    Have a super Sunday, my friend!


    P.S. Say "Meow" to Charlie for me!

  3. This is terrible but a heads up for me as my spouse and I are having out wills redrawn...

  4. Dear Valerie, I have only just caught up with the fact that Joe has died. I send you my condolences and sympathy in having to deal with all the red tape. It seems to me that it is Skipton with the bad memory!

    I hope you find your way through this morass soon and that things begin to settle down a bit for you. Perhaps Rosanne could help you?

    Best wishes, Stella
    aka Star Forever-Young

  5. This business with Skipton sounds truly appalling, Valerie. If you were less busy and stressed I might suggest that you write to one of the money pages in the newspapers, but you probably have enough else to do. Personally I would jump at the chance of pushing them off the list of executors, since there is nothing to stop them charging what they like. But a proper solicitor seems like the best idea and this you are already doing.

    It must be so frustrating to find your memory giving up at crucial moments at present. I think that this kind of strain is enough to make anyone less efficient than usual (you've always seemed exceptionally well organised to me, from what I've seen of your thought processes in the blog). It is clear that you've been under enormous strain recently and it would be absolutely amazing if it had NOT had an effect. Older people are less resilient, both physically and mentally, and, as you point out, things do takes more time to return to the normal resting state. You sound exactly like you usually do, though (albeit more exasperated) so I am sure that your memory and normal astuteness will eventually return to normal as life evens out for you.

    I am so glad that your family are helping, but even so, most of the strain will be falling on you. I hope you will be kind to yourself - you are so sensible that I daresay you don't need anyone reminding you of that!

    As they used to say, "Keep on truckin!"

  6. Hi Denise. I never counted myself as being a stressed out person but I am now. The least thing seems to get to me lately. In reply to your question, I have looked on the internet and cannot find any consumer reports. Plenty of advertising but nothing else. I am hoping this week sees a change in the situation but I won't be putting money on it.

  7. Good morning,
    'the whole reason we make a Will is so that all the legal stuff is easier to deal with'
    That's what I always thought. How wrong that is. Although, I imagine my situation is probably not a common one. I am pleased I wrote this blog, you and other readers have cheered me up. I only hope it lasts!

  8. Jennie, thank you for your most welcome comments. I felt better about myself after reading them. My forgetfulness is a little better (I think) but it seems to return when faced with legal situations. I hope I can conquer it. I wish I had someone close who could take the strain. Never mind, perhaps I'll win through eventually.

  9. Hi Stella. Good to see you again. Rosanne does help, in fact she has done most of the donkey work. However, she is a distance away and so is my son so neither of them are on the spot when needed most. I tried talking to the cat but he just ignored me! Hope you are well and happy, my friend.

  10. I am a firm believer that a head can only hold so much information and when stressed, even more stuff falls out. I am amazed that my own Mother (84) can remember things better than I can.

    What this company is doing is horrible. The time you need them the most, they are failing you at this most critical time. Wishing you the best in this matter.

  11. kden, some days are more stressful than others, which surprises me. It just shows that the mind hasn't completely given up.

  12. I'm really sorry to read about these will issues. It shouldn't be complicated to finalize things like this, but often, it is. just when we DON"T NEED any more worry.stress...on our plates. And as for forgetfulness, I also find when I'm feeling super stressed, that my memory is not as good as it usually is.

    Maybe you need a holiday Val, a breather from all that you've been dealing with. Have you considered a change of scene for a bit? Just a thought.

  13. Geraldine, I've never heard of such a delay before. Trust me to have one. Holidays are not for me anymore, I'm happier at home especially since I now have a lovely cat to look after.

  14. And can we expect more kitty pics soon? Me and Mr. Cheddar are waiting!!! ;-) >^^<

  15. Geraldine, you can see Charlie on my posts entitled The Cat Scoop and More About Charlie

  16. Well that stinks. The last thing you need right now is deal with this kind of garbage. It's ridiculous that they can't be more compassionate, which you would think they would be since they know they are dealing with people who are most likely in a very sad place. Hope things work out well and quickly for you, Val. Take care.

  17. So sorry that you have run into walls while trying to get things together. It is a stressful time and stress can make the memory wonky. Glad you have a solicitor on the case.


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