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What I learnt about making a will, as a complete beginner…

15 December 2020

Will writing is a topic that very rarely crops up in everyday conversation, but is something that we all should be aware of. In my normal day to day, I work as the Corporate Partnerships Coordinator in the Fundraising team at the Hospice, but in August I was asked to take on a slightly different work area and assist our Head of Philanthropy with our yearly ‘Make A Will’ campaign.

Being 24 years old, making a will isn’t something that I was really familiar with and I hadn’t really considered creating one before. Like many individuals, it’s very easy to assume that you don’t need a will if you aren’t married for example, or if you don’t have any estate or assets – but turns out this really isn’t the case!

Will’s are an important legal document that allow you to provide specific instructions about how you would like your estate to be managed when you die. The terms ‘estate’ to me, sounded very property focussed but it is simply the term used for your belongings. So whether you just have a savings account or if you have recently bought a house or made a business investment for example, these would be classed as your estate. There are also much smaller items that are included too, such as your jewellery, furniture, antique crockery or even sentimental family heir looms.

At this moment in time, 60% of adults living in the UK don’t have a will in place and I think often this is because there is a lot of terminology and jargon that people don’t understand or that we simply just do not know where to start.

Creating a will is so much simpler than I first imagined. As part of our ‘Make A Will’ campaign we have partnered with an online will-writing service called Bequeathed, and through this service you can create your own basic will, online, in the comfort of your own home for free. It really couldn’t be simpler!

Many individuals, may use a solicitor to draft their will for them, which is useful if you have a high value estate, business investments or simply if you want to include lasting powers of attorney, executors or probate. You will can be as complex or as simple as you wish but it is really important that everyone has one in place!

You can even leave specific directions in your will such as your funeral wishes or even leave a gift in your will to a charity that is close to your heart.

Often we don’t realise the impact that a gift in our will could truly make to a charity. For example at the Hospice one in five of our patients are cared for by gifts left to us in wills – this is absolutely huge when you consider that we are caring for over 1,500 individuals annually!

Gifts in wills are so incredibly important and could be as small as leaving 1% of your estate to a charity. It’s always something to bear in mind at the time of writing a will as it gives you the ability to make a truly memorable difference and leave a lasting legacy behind.

I hope that anyone reading this might reconsider making a will if they don’t already have one or update their current one to reflect how their life looks now compared to when they first wrote it. There’s always things to consider like marriage, children or grandchildren or care planning that should be included in your will or it may be missed out.

If you would like to utilise the Bequeathed service through the Hospice, you can do so here!