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Everything posted by emkay

  1. Making a UK will from Germany

    A quick question for anyone else that has a UK will written by a solicitor. Have you kept the original will yourself or is it retained by the solicitor? I was advised that I can choose. I’m erring towards keeping it myself in a fireproof safe. 
  2. Making a UK will from Germany

    I just asked the solicitor. He said that with such a simple will, there shouldn’t be a problem. With complex wills, an international law solicitor’s advice would be necessary. The general requirement where property is owned abroad, a local will is necessary. My father had to do this in Cyprus for example. 
  3. Making a UK will from Germany

    Thanks for the suggestions of the online templates. Whilst my UK will is quite simple, some factors need some legal advice. The gov.uk website is quite helpful though also states that legal advice is recommended if permanent address outside of the UK etc. Also, storage of a will at the National Probate Registry isn’t so easy as payment is required by cheque or postal order. I haven’t used cheques since 2010!   I think I’ve found a suitable solicitor that I know of in my UK home town. They are willing to speak by phone and maybe a brief WhatsApp, messenger, facetime video call to ensure my German ID photo is genuine.  Their fee is £200 which is the normal rate.  And, they can arrange my will before my surgery next week…..just in case! 
  4. Thanks so much for all of your advice and opinions. It’s helped me a lot. My repayment mortgage is minimal in the last few years of term, total remaining balance, about 10% of the house value. On the positive side(ish), the mortgage interest element has increased about 600% since the beginning of 2022 that can be deducted from UK and DE income tax.   I guess that retaining my current tenants is wise as their financial status is very good. Far better than that of other applicants last year.  Both with jobs that are unlikely to affect their rent affordability. And, new tenancy marketing and agreements costs around £500-600. Risk too of course of an unlet period.    With regard to possibly wishing to sell, I understand from the agent that if I change the tenancy agreement term to ‘monthly rolling‘, I’d have to give the tenant 4 months notice to leave. I doubt I’d ever have a more urgent need than this.   Many thanks again.
  5. Gullible here , We bought a few of the £100 Big Ben and Buckingham Palace silver coins in about 2015. At the time of purchase, the Royal Mint stated that the coins were legal currency so nothing to lose. Maybe a gain as relatively few were minted. I read stories that people were buying many despite a supposed per person limit, amassing lots of credit card points. Then, cashing in at banks and post offices.  Not surprisingly, the definition of ‘legal tender’ changed when banks etc soon refused to cash them. We’d intended to gift them to our young family members though useless with no possible cash value.  About 4 years after purchase, I rang the Royal Mint to ask if they buy them back at face value. They did, technically a refund, as we still had the original invoice. So, nothing lost, just a waste of time. 
  6. Shouldn’t be hard to find. When I found my mum’s lost bonds using the form (link above), it was just a case of listing any possible names and addresses. Plus, my mum’s new DE address. Quite a long time later, she got a cheque from them that could be paid into a DE account as an exception. Her bank charged her something like 20€!    Who knows, you could be a winner….keep us posted!   Just to add, at the same time, I went through a process of finding lost pensions, bank/savings a counts, shares. Turned up a little including £1 post office account? I can’t quite recall that process though I’m sure Google will enlighten.
  7. Use NS&I’s lost premium bond checking service. I did this for my mum years ago and it turned up a £50 win from about the 1970’s. https://www.nsandi.com/help/lost-touch-with-nsandi/track-lost-investments
  8. Sounds like a pain! I too don’t think the draw is random. It would be a shame to have to sell though as there’s always a glimmer of hope every month. 
  9. Premium bonds have been mentioned on this thread as a UK bank account is required to pay in prizes. Just in case this helps anyone else….   My daughter and I both have premium bond holdings. Before she was 16, I paid in her winnings cheques into my UK bank account. I then got a letter (DE address registered as holders) saying that she needs her own UK bank account. After accidentally posting her winning cheques with mine to my UK bank, and they were paid in, I just carried on doing this for our occasional wins. Our initials are the similar.    Recently, some of her cheques weren’t paid in so I thought we have to sort this properly. A get round to it job!   On nsandi.com, it states that holders can register for online and phone service registration. However, not from abroad. It then states that this can be done by telephone. Also not possible for a non UK address. However, I was guided to a form that can be sent by post. ‘Online and phone service Registration form’. Not sure if it’s true though I recently read that premium bond holders have a greater chance of winning if registered online. Even more so if enquiries are made regarding selling bonds.     When I called this number, I got through very quickly. 00441772 329880 option 2. The advisor said that calling after 19:00 our time is quick. Sundays too.    Once registered online, a UK bank account can be registered to receive prizes. I’m hoping the advisor was correct as he said that my daughter can register my bank account as her receiving account for prizes. So, if anyone has a trusted person in the UK, a bank account in one’s own name isn’t necessary. Not sure who could be trusted with a big win!?    I’ll start this process soon and update how it all works. If anyone can’t find the form, PM me and I can email it. 
  10. Darmspiegelung - colonoscopy

    Thanks for the offer. The letter doesn’t really say much. A biopsy was taken and I have to wait 1-2 weeks for the results. It wasn’t removed during the procedure as it’s too big. 
  11. Darmspiegelung - colonoscopy

    Good advice I was given prior to starting the laxative process the day before….sorry if TMI though really helpful. Apply zinc Salbe, nappy rash type cream or Vaseline to anal area. The whole purging process can really irritate sensitive skin. Reapply several times before procedure. Use the softest toilet roll you can get or even ‘balsam’ tissues. 
  12. Darmspiegelung - colonoscopy

    I’m doing my best not to worry.  The hospital where I had the Magendarmspieglung isn’t highly rated for surgery however, the only outpatient clinic nearby offering both procedures at the same appointment. The young doctor immediately said I should decide myself where the surgery should be carried out. I could even imagine he was suggesting I DO go elsewhere. I was still disorientated from the sedation. So, no team as yet. I just have to wait for biopsy results. Concerning when the doctor said that if I haven’t heard from them in 2 weeks, I should follow up.    I’ll try to ask our Hausarzt for a recommendation.  Ironic that doctors get annoyed if one even remotely suggests a self help Google. Yet, when it comes to clinic recommendations, they advise to Google!  So far, for any clinic recommendations, local Facebook groups have been really helpful.  Even just knowing which to avoid is useful advice.  
  13. Darmspiegelung - colonoscopy

    I just had a Magendarmspieglung for the first time. This was because of a recent positive ‘blood in stool’ test from my gynaecologist.   I’m quite terrified that despite absolutely no symptoms, I have a very large unusually shaped polyp that must be surgically removed no matter if cancerous or not.  I have to decide which hospital should do this. Advice being…just Google where you prefer!
  14. We didn’t know about it for the first 2 years we lived at our house. Not until our Gemeinde wrote to us saying that the previously installed outdoor water meter needs replacing as it’s 6 years old. They were fair and deducted all our waste water from the last time the meter reading was submitted before we moved here. Now, we just email them a photo of the water meter and the previous year’s reading.    Here’s an overview.  https://www.obi.de/magazin/garten/gartengeraete/gartenwasserzaehler  
  15. Making a last will and testament

    We have a similar situation other than, I have a daughter, my husband is her step father. As he has no children of his own and hasn’t adopted my daughter yet*, his mother has a right to a Pflichtteil of my husband’s estate.     From advice I got from a local lawyer a couple of years ago…..   As my husband’s father is sadly deceased, his mother would be entitled to 1/16 to 1/8 of my husband’s estate. If his father were still alive, his parents would have a Pflichtteil together of 1/4 of his estate. The maths didn’t quite seem sensible to me? Siblings don’t qualify for any Pflichtteil.    I’d definitely advise that you get up to date advice from a Notar/Rechtsanwalt.   When my mother in law remarried, she wished to ensure that her husband’s children would get no Pflichtteil. All combined assets were put into her sole name…houses, cars, bank accounts, investments etc.    Needless to say, my mother in law would most certainly wish to acquire any Pflichtteil from my husband’s estate.   * Regarding possible adoption of stepchildren. In our situation, I have had no contact with my daughter’s father since she was very young. No child maintenance payments ever, no known current worldwide address. Step parent's income does not qualify for potential student loan applications. Adoptive parent’s income does. Certainly worth considering for anyone with a stepchild requiring a student loan in future. 
  16. Just worth a mention for saving on garden watering costs, in case anyone doesn’t know. I believe this applies to most Bundesländer.  For anyone that waters their garden from a mains supplied outside tap. If you get a water meter for the outside tap, the Gemeinde will deduct the Abwasser Gebühr (waste water charge) from the annual water charges. For us, this charge is double that of the water supply cost.    As our rain water collectors ran dry very early last year, we needed to frequently water our garden over the long dry spell. Especially as we have a tall boundary hedge that we can’t afford to lose. These cold water meters cost around 15-20€ from Amazon, Bauhaus etc.  It just has to be installed by our Gemeinde and registered by them. The last time we replaced the garden water meter, our Gemeinde charged us about 10€. They are calibrated for around 6 years. Best to buy at the start of the year.    We just got around a 30%, 230€ water cost reduction from our annual Gemeinde bill. Just ask your Gemeinde about Gartenabwasser reduction. 
  17. This Amazon review of the latest literary masterpiece made me smile…..(could be renamed ‘hallucinations may vary’)  
  18. I think beards are still not allowed in UK military unless for health or religious reasons. 
  19. He’s actually named Henry not Harold. I’ve seen a few recent press articles calling him Harold too.    My daughter was quite astounded when I explained that it wasn’t all too long ago that male facial hair was very frowned upon and banned in some professions.
  20. Just to answer your immediate question re insurance claim. Claims can take a while  Contact your current bank and ask for an extension of services to see you through your insurance claim. 6 months plus extension should be possible. 
  21. I’ve just started using Wise yet not quite sure if it serves all usual same UK basic bank account services?
  22. @Gambatte, I’m think I’m in a similar position to yours. My main UK Barclays account that I’ve had for over 40 years, served me notice as I’ve had a non UK address for the last 11 years. However, calling them, explaining my uncertainty as to how long I wish to stay a non UK resident, resulted in them extending my account end date by 6 months to October 2023. This isn’t untrue, I’m not sure if we’ll stay in Germany much longer. If you are also uncertain, you can get some more time…..   I also looked at all the expat UK accounts and also don’t qualify due to not meeting with minimum earnings/savings etc.   HSBC seemed the only UK bank that allowed non residents to apply for a simple current account.  That’s all I need to manage my rental income. Their savings accounts seem quite good too….3% interest on first £10k, 1.4% on anything over.    If you go to hsbc.co.uk, for a basic current account application, non Uk residents can apply. However, the first link that you encounter says ‘no’ though redirects you with a link to something like ‘eu domestic journey’ and allows further application. I went through all of this and have eventually received a debit card and online login. I haven’t yet transferred any funds. Be aware that in the huge amount of terms and conditions, it does state that if you are an EU resident, they reserve the right to close your account.    I’ve also been encouraged to sell my UK property due to the overall hassle factor.  However, given the property value reductions over the last few months, maybe this increases the rental value? This has been a UK trend in the past though no idea about the future? Plus, UK CGT changes, poor exchange rate etc Selling in general doesn’t really seem sensible just now….no matter how much hassle!  All of my German family have always said…don’t sell property unless absolutely necessary or dead! I usually don’t agree with any such family suggestions though, they might be right?!?
  23. I remember seeing Ricky Gervais on a chat show discussing his atheism. The bit I recall most was Ricky asking the host how many gods out of the approximate 3000 widely accepted to exist, did he believe in. Only one, the Christian host replied. So Ricky questioned how bad it is to believe in just one less god?   Outside of Catholicism, which other religion dictates that leaders etc cannot marry/must be celibate?
  24. I agree. My daughter attended a catholic primary school in the UK. I knew it was nothing like the secondary convent school I had attended that was very traumatising. OFSTED reports rated the primary school highest in our county. There were no nuns or monks on the teaching or management staff just an occasional visiting elderly priest.    Christian schools here in DE are often considered very good though not necessarily run by nuns or monks. Just before my daughter’s Abitur here, we learned about ongoing sexual abuse legal action against monks in the 1980’s. Apparently, since then there were only very few monks on the management and teaching staff.   I too found it difficult to watch any films or documentaries that bring to attention abuse by catholic significant persons. However, it’s almost like there’s a strange need to watch to dispel the trauma of one’s own troubling experiences. Feeling not alone with such feelings helps to heal somewhat. Nothing physical happened to me thankfully as I was a very cowering teenager. My friends were often caned for the most minor offences. My school experience did however significantly affect my ongoing introvert tendencies.    Troubling yet interesting…Netflix’s documentary, The Keepers.