Letters of Administration / Probate - DIY application

It's been almost 2 months since my mum's passing. I have not had the mood to blog as there's simply too much for me to settle - both tangible and intangible stuff.  For the first month, there's like a void in my life that I couldn't get used to because I was so used to the daily routine of taking care of her. It felt like a boulder lifted off my shoulder, as I was near breaking point; but this boulder was not gone, instead it shifted to my heart. The passing was sudden but not unexpected. My mum's condition deteriorated rapidly after her last fall, which led to hospitalization, and every hospitalization made her more frail. On the last discharge she could barely sit up in bed. My mum  did not leave behind a will  because she did not see a need to at that time when she still had a clear state of mind. Without a will, I would need to apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration in order to administer her estates. (Note: If there's a will, one would need to

Success in life

Different levels of our life and career Level 1 - Aimless You have no earthly idea what you're doing or where you're going. You have no direction. Level 2 - Stuck You can envision yourself doing better but can't seem to get out of a rut. You might work hard but experience very little progress. Level 3 - Coasting You are going through the motions. Your life is on cruise control. You do what you have to do to survive. Level 4 - Developing You are steadily growing. You've had incremental improvements over the past few years, and your relationships and career have excelled. Level 5 - Thriving You are operating in your sweet spot. You don't have to do anything. You get to do everything. Level 6 - Mastery You are doing so well that you're in a place to help others do the same. from  "Leveling up" by Ryan Leak I came across the above while browsing IG and it made me reflect on how success in life and career is defined. Which level am I at now? In my early 30s

Caring for beloved with dementia

It can be stressful to care for dementia patient, especially when you don't know what to expect of their disease progression and how to tackle the problems that their change in behavior brings.  Dementia is a disease of regression of the whole being - from declining cognitive function, memory losses to declining mobility and difficulty eating. Therefore, dementia-proofing can be a gradual process and what need modifications in the house very much depend on the stage of dementia. I was quite lost on what to do when I first heard that my mom was diagnosed with dementia, but slowly I learnt to cope with it. Managing dementia In the initial stage, memory loss and forgetfulness is the main sign with no behavioral issue. So putting  up reminder / guide signages in the house, using whiteboard to cue To-dos, preparing medications in pill boxes (AM and PM separately) and setting reminder alarms are useful. Switch socket covers and childproof outlet plugs can be installed if the elderly like

T-bills and CPF Time Deposit

I saw this in the news today -  OCBC offers new option to customers to earn higher interest from CPF funds . For the first time in history I see " CPF Time Deposit " offered by a bank. (Technically speaking, CPF is like time deposit with the government. This is like time deposit outsourced, albeit for a very short period? ) Previously those who were eyeing "higher interest" (via external returns) on their OA accounts can only invest through CPFIS into T-bills and it may be a hassle to do so, except for DBS digibank customers who can do it via online. I wonder if other banks will soon follow suit to offer "CPF Time Deposit ". (Since people may be starting to run out of liquid funds for parking.)  DBS bank has an  article  about investing in T-bills and I think it rightly pointed this out:  "It is not as straightforward as you will need to work out the “breakeven” yields of T-bills for using CPF savings to ensure that you will not be in a worse off posi

Reflections for year 2022

2022 was a year of which my life followed Murphy's Law - I have experienced crypto bank runs (CeFi bankruptcies ensued), portfolio plunge, Covid infection and calling the ambulance to the house.  It's a really bad year, and I almost thought I am not done listing the Murphy's Law events. At least these are the major ones, and I don't want to bored people with more day-to-day shit that happened. Despite all these, I believe there's still some silver lining behind the gloomy clouds. Here are some reflections to share. Change is the only constant in life We all know that. If we cannot change the environment, change ourselves. There's Chinese saying "适者生存",  adaptability is the most powerful skill of humankind.  After changing what we can in the environment to make ourselves feel as comfortable as possible, we need to learn to live with the discomfort that cannot be changed or is hard to be changed. This means "accepting what is" by changing the w

On shopping spree - Spending and Savings

My household expenses rocketed this few months as I was on shopping spree. It's not because of the upcoming GST hike nor the attraction of Year-end sale.  Image source: Unsplash It's because of my mom and because our household appliances are throwing in the towel one after another. Considering that it's been almost 10 years since we moved into the BTO, these appliances have been used way past their warranty and already to money's worth. I was surprised that some of them can even last for so long. First is our Samsung washing machine which the Start button spoilt. I bought one of Midea brand from Shopee at a sale. The only dissatisfaction is that it does not have a wash timer, unlike the Samsung one. Since we always wash almost the same load of clothing and use the same mode of wash, we can remember the estimated completion time now after a few washes. Second is the ceiling fan. Our old Fanco ceiling fan wasn't good, it required servicing in about a year's time a

Money flow and management

Banks are pumping up interest rates in the shortest time span ever. (I saw that CIMB is currently offering as high as 4.2% on its fixed deposit! A rise of 1-2% in interest from just a few months ago. Darn, I should have waited.) This interest hiking spree is attributed to FED's rate hike , which caused the treasury bills yield to be climbing for a while. Hot money (from past QEs) have been flowing out of risk assets (cryptos, equities, junk bonds etc) to the supposedly more secure assets (bank deposits and gov bonds). Note that periods of past FED rate hikes are in year 1999-2000, 2004-2006 and 2007-2008. Then we see rate cuts after these periods. Inflation and loans interest rates have been climbing too. Layoffs are starting, economy seemed to be slowing. We won't be surprised to see  recession , perhaps from next year, if the FED rate hike and inflation continue at this pace. Gotta keep a watch out for recession trends like a rise in the unemployment rate and a decrease in GD


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