You Have To Make Decisions Before You Die

Making decisions before you die.

Making decisions before you die.

(Updated 24 September 2018)

Most People Who Die Don’t Want To Die and Most Are Not Ready For It.

I think that is a pretty well-accepted statement above.  We all know we are going to die, but except for the sad case f suicide, virtually none of us wants to die.  And we sure are not ready right now.  Most of us know there are many things we would like to straighten out and make right before that last morning wakeup.

You Can’t Make Things Perfect, But You Can Try

Especially if you move to the Philippines, you usual;y have more loose ends than you bargained for.  For the sake of your loved ones, and especially children you may have left behind, please give things some thought BEFORE that moment when all your earthly thinking will stop.

I Get Messages Like This All The Time, And They Make Me Sad.

Here’s a very recent comment I received here at, where I try to have the answers you need for living (and dying) in the Philippines.  The lady who sent the comment in has messaged me before due to issues with her husband and their daughter.

The girl and their daughter live here in the Philippines.  The couple is not married.  For reasons unknown, the daughter’s father went back to the USA in 2013.

If that was the best move for him at the time, more power to him, but I must say, that in my opinion, he was very self-centered in failing to provide for his little girl, who is 5 years old in a few days.

What went on between the father and the girl’s mother is something I have no knowledge of, and I really don’t want to know.

Couples come to grief, with or without children, all the time for many different reasons.

But to just leave and provide nothing for a precious child, a true gift from God?  Sorry to phrase it this way but that sounds damn heartless to me.

(Not to mention the fact that leaving $2000 to rot in a bank, inaccessible to anyone, until the greedy bank “escheats” it seem kinda dumb to me.  Do you usually leave $2000 dollars lying around and forget about it?  I sure don’t).

If You Think About It, You Can Do Better Than This Guy.

(I’ll highlight my reader’s questions in blue)

My daughter’s father passed away last September.

I just wanted to ask if my daughter can have her daddy’s check each month?  I am still here in the Philippines with my daughter.

What Check Is That?

Making decisions before you die.

There are a number of ways your baby’s father may have been receiving a monthly check.  Without knowing from whom, or what agency, the check was being paid by, I have no way of even making an educated guess about your daughter’s entitlement after her father’s death.

In many cases, monthly benefits “die” along with the person receiving them.  

the person being paid 

But in some cases, children of the beneficiary may continue to receive payments after the beneficiary’s death.


One example is US Social Security.  It may be possible that your daughter is entitled to benefits based upon her father’s disability or retirement.  The place to start looking for answers is here: Benefits for Children  

Guys, if you tahr a child, in or out of wedlock, take a little time and get things set up so that your children get the benefits you have already earned.

It doesn’t matter how you now feel about the mother, why would you turn down “free money” that will at least keep your child fed, clothed and educated?

(and in many cases the child may qualify for payments while you are still alive … extra income for the family.)

And one more thing, her father has a government disability bank account here in the Philippines.

The government stopped depositing it due to he’s there in PA USA since 2013.

I just wanted to know if his sister will ship me the passbook and his death certificate.

If I have the documents can my daughter can get it with my guidance she’s only 5 years old by October?

He’s the only one can withdraw it but since he’s dead now and he has a child with me is it possible that the bank will allow me as her mother to withdraw it?

Or I need US government consent papers so we can get the money not million in it less than 2K USD.

It’s not so big but I know it will help with his daughter education. since he’s gone now.

Don’t Die Leaving Money Locked Away

This is a very common situation here in the Philippines.  US Social Security will pay direct deposits to bank accounts of US citizens if the account is NOT joint with another person.

But before opening such an account, the beneficiary should designate a survivor (as in this case, the daughter with, perhaps, her mother as trustee).

Now since it appears this wasn’t done, I would suggest you ask the man’s sister to send you the passbook and a copy of his death certificate and ten meet with your bank manager.

I don’t know the laws here that well.  Clearances from the Internal Revenue and others may be required, but one thing for sure is, you have left this money lying idle for too long already. It’s time to move out and try to get this done, no one else will do it for you.

Hey $2000 USD is well over P100,000, and you can pay a lot of tuition and buy a lot of school shoes and uniforms with that.

Please, I need your advice.. thank you and God bless you and yours.

Well, I don’t know how much  I have helped, but I wish you the best and urge you not to sit and wait on this.

And guys< whatever your personal situation, especially if children of yours are involved, get busy with making decisions before you die.

4 thoughts on “You Have To Make Decisions Before You Die”

  1. On your post about leaving money behind………….Did you know that a Hand Written Holographic will written in your own hand and signed along bottom and on side of will is completely Legal Here in Philippines and in U.S. You do not need to pay an attorney high fees, consult your favorite search engine and just follow simple instructions……………for money left in U.S. Banks, request your bank or credit union send to you one of their Beneficiary Forms, fill out have notarized and mail to them, check in month or so to make sure they made the beneficiary change already…………this is good for cash in bank/CU and if you have other real property then a little more complicated. Normally no estate tax in most states unless above 3 million or so $, Philippines is very different, they have another process you must look up and has different amounts compared to what you left with lots of rules for compliance on property and certain peso amounts….

    1. Hi Harold,

      Nice to see you here. I certainly did not know about this. You’ve provided some valuable information and I hope others will benefit also. The main thing is to try to get guys (and gals too) to think about these things now and plan what will happen, because they won’t be there to help anyone else take care of things once they become “dead meat”. Godspeed.

  2. The handwritten holographic will may be valid only when executed by a Filipino. Remember the rules on testate and intestate succession, especially in the Philippines governs ONLY Filipinos. That is why the death of a foreigner in the Philippines with properties in the US can be incredibly cumbersome. The wife left in the Philippines may find it incredibly hard to do probate of any property in the US. It is possible, but difficult. That is why, if you are moving to the Philippines from the US, I suggest you figure out how to distribute your assets already, either as a trusts or some other instrument. That way if you have children in the US still, they can still receive something from you because if you take everything with you to the Philippines, they too may find it hard to ran after any properties.

    1. @ Claudette

      Again, thanks for the contribution. Indeed, the laws of the two countries do not “mesh” very well. The advice to just make a holographic (in your own handwriting) will) and avoid paying a lawyer SOUNDS good at first, we all want to save money. But if the will is not honored in both countries the money you saved is useless (after all, you’ll then be dead) and none of the transfers you desired probably won’t happen. Might as well have saved the time it took to write the will in the first place, it’s not worth the paper it is written on.

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