Thousands of people die each year without having made their wills. And in many cases, the State will benefit while their families and friends lose out. While thinking, talking and planning for death may feel uncomfortable, you need to consider how much worse the situation would be if you died or became incapacitated – through illness, accident, old age or emergency – without sorting it.
Writing a will means your final wishes are respected and you can look after your loved ones – be it the cat, carer or favourite charity.
If the cost of making a will is worrying you St Gemma’s Hospice in Moortown Leeds is holding their annual Make a Will Month this October. During this month over 25 Solicitors in Leeds, and the surrounding area, have agreed to waive their fees on standard or mirror wills or codicils in return for a donation to St Gemma’s Hospice.
Nicola Woodgate, Head of Marketing and Communications tells us more about it.
Why should you make a will?
By making your will now you can set your affairs in order making life a little bit easier for your loved ones later. It can be a daunting process, so, we have tried to answer some questions that will hopefully make it a little bit easier.
Do I have to make a will?
No. However, if you do not have a will when you die then your assets will be distributed according to the law and therefore not necessarily according to your wishes.
Do I have to make my will at a solicitors?
No. However, you have to be very careful when making the will. If there are any errors within the will then it can cause problems after death.
It is therefore advisable to use a solicitor to ensure that there are no mistakes in your will.
How much does it cost to make a will?
Prices can vary depending on the complexity of the will. However, with St Gemma’s Hospice Make a Will Month all of the solicitors who are taking part in the month have agreed to waive their fees on standard or mirror wills or Codicils in return for a donation via Make a Will Month.
What is a mirror will and a codicil?
A mirror will is two identical wills however there is a change in name. This is normally done by partners.
A codicil is an amendment to an existing will. It is recommended that you review your will if you have changes to circumstances to ensure that it is still valid.
Where should I keep my will?
You can store your will in a number of places including your solicitor’s office, lodging it with the Probate Service or storing your will yourself. It is up to you where you would like to store your will but make sure that it is in a safe place.
Make sure that your executor knows where your will is stored to avoid any problems later.
What are executors?
An executor is someone who is appointed either by the will or the court who is given the legal responsibility to administer the wishes of a will.
So how can I make a will with St Gemma’s Hospice Make a Will Month?
You can make a will with St Gemma’s Hospice by choosing one of the participating solicitors which you are able to find on our website. Simply phone your chosen solicitor up and make an appointment quoting St Gemma’s Hospice Make a Will Month. Then go along to your appointment and take your entitlement voucher and donation with you, pass it over to your solicitor and they shall send it on to the Hospice.
To find out more about St Gemma’s Hospice visit their website or contact Sarah Harrison on 0113 218 5506.
The main thing is to make a will. St Gemma’s scheme is just one way of making writing your will easier. Many charities have similar schemes and Will Aid is even a charity just for making wills. This is your opportunity to have the last word.