When dealing with my mother’s financial affairs after her death, there was a conversation that I kept having with strangers in various bereavement departments.
“Did she have a will?”
“Did she have life insurance?”
“Who will administer her estate?”
The word ‘estate’ makes me think of stately homes full of art, silverware and fine china – like the actual house that gives the show, Downton Abbey, its name. As I went through this script over and over again, I was constantly reminded that my mother didn’t plan to die at such an early age – she had hopes and dreams for the future like all of us and she certainly didn’t think her work was done. There was more that she would have wanted to leave behind besides her half-finished affairs and a funeral bill.