I know I have quite a list and, when I die, rather than being remembered for what I owned, wore or drove, I’d like to think people would remember the things I did to make a difference.
We remember people in many different ways; remembrance services, plaques, headstones, planting trees, photographs and also by donating to charity in their memory. But, there’s another way we can be remembered and that’s through our own Will.
A Will allows us to ensure our wishes are officially recorded, saving loved ones the stress of having to make decisions on our behalf when we are no longer here. It’s a way we can ensure our belongings and money will be distributed as we would like, and that includes choosing to continue helping our favourite charities.
Imagine knowing your Will could help someone to receive the care and support they need, benefit our environment, or animal welfare when you’re no longer here. For St Wilfrid’s, gifts of all sizes left to the Hospice often account for a third of our annual income; this means 1 in 3 people receive the care they need thanks to the supporters that remember our work in their Will.
Often people believe that Wills are only for people who are elderly, or rich or unmarried, and amazingly around 50% of people living in the UK do not have a valid Will. It’s actually important for anyone over the age of 18years (of sound mind) to have a Will, especially if they have dependent children or own a property.
It’s commonly misunderstood that your Estate (everything you own) will automatically pass to your partner if you are unmarried. If you have children, the intestacy laws – the laws that govern what happens when someone dies without a Will - will usually favour them first. In fact, in the case of an unmarried person with no living relatives, the Estate can pass to the Government (the Crown).
A Will also allows us to record our wishes with regards to any pets and funeral wishes too.
So, you can see, there are many, many reasons to ensure you have a Will in place – for your own peace of mind, that of your loved ones and to continue your generosity once you’ve died, if you wish.
This June, we will be running our annual Make A Will Fortnight; many local solicitors take part and forfeit their usual fees. Writing, or amending, your Will free of charge they’ll ask you to consider donating in to St Wilfrid’s at your appointment to help us to care for terminally-ill people and their loved ones.
Please contact me for more information about Make a Will Fortnight on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or click here to find out more about Gifts in Wills