Thank you Theresa - yes, when we think of all the documents we may have witnessed for people over the years, it’s quite shocking to think that any of them could be the subject of an investigation, isn’t it?
Of course, I knew it was theoretically possible, but you don’t, in your heart of hearts, really expect trouble later, do you?
I suppose I could have foreseen in, because the old lady’s will was divisive (just my opinion), and certainly not the way we do things in our family - but equal division is not necessarily the fairest or only way to write a will. Just because I thought: “Ooh dear, I wouldn’t have done that!” doesn’t mean she didn’t have her reasons.
Anyway, got the letter to the solicitor out of the way last night kept it as neutral as possible (aware it might find its way to my neighbour’s solicitor, for his response).
Avoided saying anything that implied I had concerns (even if I did…slightly). I wasn’t asked to comment on the “undue influence” aspect (Thank goodness for that!), but only on whether I observed, or had any reason to believe, the testator was ill, or confused or anything. I could only report that she didn’t say or do anything odd (she didn’t!), and all seemed OK to me. They wanted to know how I knew that she knew she was making a will. Well technically, I didn’t of course. But just because someone is old, you don’t assume they’re gaga, and ask: “Now are you sure you know what this is?”, do you?
I was concerned it was all a bit stage-managed by her son - but then she was an old lady - she depended on him for a lot. I wouldn’t expect her to be able to organise her own will-signing, and pick witnesses etc. without cooperation from family. Where is the boundary between “helping”, that anyone would do for their mum, and undue influence? She shouldn’t have had to sort it all out by herself, but it probably shouldn’t have been sorted by the person who got the biggest bequest, either. If they hadn’t tried to save a few bob on a solicitor, this probably wouldn’t have happened, as he or she would have made sure it wasn’t open to allegations of impropriety.
Anyway, it’s all a great shame. I’ve no wish for it to sour things with my neighbour (though I don’t think I’ve said anything that drops him in it), and I’m upset for the old lady’s sake, that there are all these shennanigans after she’s gone. So much for: “Rest in Peace”.
As for the doctors thing, it’s business as usual until January, but after that, I don’t know who we’ll get, and it sounds as if even that is only expected to be a tide-over, until someone decides what’s going to happen.
Yes, I will have to stand up for myself, if anyone questions why I’m on all the stuff I’m on - and have been almost since diagnosis - I’ll have to tell them: “Look I’ve got an incurable condition - who are you to challenge how I’ve been managing it for the past five years?”
It is not the most convenient doctor’s for me (actually, none of them are convenient, for anyone who doesn’t drive), so I’ve been thinking about moving for some time. My excellent relationship with my existing GP has been the main reason I’ve never done it. But if I can’t keep her anyway, what’s special about that surgery any more?
I’ve researched other surgeries in the area. The one that’s got super-dooper ratings from the CQC and excellent feedback from patients is still a pain in the bum to get to (15 minute walk and NO public transport option - I’m aware my mobility is likely to deteriorate).
The other one, that is on a bus route, has yet to be assessed by the CQC, and has negative feedback from patients - average two stars out of five! So that’s not very encouraging, on either count - no independent review, and patients say it’s crap. But do I settle for that because I can get there, and it’s not 15 minutes walk each way, in all weathers?
Obviously, I’d like to go to the super-dooper one - excellent ratings for care, compassion, and management of long-term conditions - almost everything, in fact. But how long will I still be able to do the 15-minute walk? I can still do it at the moment - indeed, much better on a good day. But I won’t say it isn’t an obstacle. Choosing to do your 15-minute walk in the park, on a nice sunny day, is a lot different to having to do it, whether you want to or not, on a day you’re already not well, and it could be bucketing.