Well yesterday I was notified that a man I know here died the day after heart surgery. He was married to a very sweet Filipina. Now he is gone, the thoughts are about his widow. Did he have any joint savings to provide for her? I know their home was rented, so she does not have a home any more. I had heard she was estranged from her family so she is unable to return to them, of if she does, it will be a difficult situation. One thing in her favor is she is still young and attractive, but there are many young and attractive ladies here in the Philippines.
So, here is a sweet lady who dedicated her past few years to an older foreigner man. They were married for a few years and now he is gone. Possibly, so is her financial support. I am not sure of her age or her schooling. Here in the Philippines jobs are difficult to get and most companies only hire people under the age or 30.
Hearing about his death, and the situation his widow is now in made me think about my own life. I am an American and my wife is a Filipina. I am not yet of the age to collect my Social Security Pension and have just a small amount of savings in an investment in the States. A Filipina wife cannot receive my Government pension if I die unless she had lived for a minimum of 6 months legally in the States as my wife.
What is this all about, well, now with this man’s passing, it made me think about Elena and what will happen if I die.
The only close family I have in the States is my mother and one brother. Unless something unknown happens to me, I will probably out live my mom. With my brother, we are not close and hardly ever communicate. He is also older and probably will not outlast me either.
Well back to the subject or this article. It made me think, what will happen if I die and what I leave behind. I will leave behind a loving wife. As any good loving husband, he wants to make sure his wife is provided for upon his death. Will she have enough money from me to live well? Luckily we have 3 nieces and 2 nephews who love us as if we were their mother and father, but they will have their own life and how much support they will be able to provide her.
I now plan to email my financial advisor, which I had not thought of doing until now to ask if there are any difficulties changing my beneficiary of my savings from my mother to Elena. IF there is any problem having the money go to a foreign national living in the Philippines.
Another thought, I am Jewish. I do not practice my family’s religion and I feel after death, I will not be around to worry about my body. In the Jewish religion a body is to be buried within 48 hours of death and then the family will morn at home where friends can visit to express their condolences. At a Jewish funeral home the casket is in another room or hidden by screens. At a Catholic wake the casket is up front and in full view.
Elena is a Roman Catholic and in her religion families have the body on display in at the mortuary for days or even weeks. So I wonder what Elena will decide to do at the time of my demise. I tried to talk to her about it, but she just says, “Let’s not discuss this; we will just have to live forever.”
I never liked visiting cemeteries. I always prefer to think of my relatives and friends who have passes of happy times and do not want my last memories of them in a casket or a stone with their name on it. I feel a photo of me at a happy time where the person who is looking will think of that time and feel glad to have been part of my life and not looking at a headstone or a memory of me laid out in a casket.
With that, my preference is being cremated and my ashes just disposed of.
Here in the Philippines people do not like to talk of mortality so the thoughts of the future is not often discussed so it is difficult for me to even talk of this to Elena.
I really do not need a will since I only have my invested savings in the US and our home here is in Elena’s name.
Let me know what you think of this and if you’re an Expat, what your plans are.