No one likes to think about making a Will and people have all sorts of reasons to avoid making one. They don’t have time, they don’t believe that it will be necessary and, of course, none of us like to think about dying. Yet making a Will is the only way of ensuring that your estate passes to those you would like to benefit. When no Will exists, it can cause stress and upset to those you love at a time when they are least able to cope with it.
We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will
Those who you wish to benefit from your estate may receive nothing. Even if they do receive part of your estate under the intestacy rules (the rules which govern an estate if no Will has been made) they may not be aware whether you had intended them to benefit. When making, or changing your Will, it is important to consider carefully those who you wish to benefit from it.
Making or updating your Will does not need to be hard work or expensive, and many feel a huge sense of relief once their Will has been completed.
Cynthia Spencer Hospice provides specialist palliative care for people diagnosed with life-limiting and terminal illnesses and their families at the Hospice in Northampton and across Northamptonshire through our Clinical Nurse Specialist and Hospice at Home Community Care Teams. The Hospice is also home to a county-wide Lymphoedema service and a day-care Palliative Information Programme and Palliative Care Carers’ Support Service. Care at the Hospice focuses on helping patients to enjoy the best quality of life possible - controlling their pain and other symptoms; offering emotional and practical support; providing suitable treatments and therapies and, when the time comes providing the best care to ensure a comfortable and dignified death.
All our Hospice services are offered free of charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and although part-funded by the NHS we rely on voluntary donations from our local community, including gifts in Wills to raise one third of every £1 we spend on care.
A Native American proverb says that ‘We will be known forever by the tracks we leave’ and we’d all like to feel that we’ve made a difference when we look back on our lives and that the things we’ve achieved along the way won’t be forgotten when we are no longer around.
We also want the people closest to our hearts and the charities we have supported to know how much they have meant to us; one way for us to show this is by the gifts we leave them in our Will.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples
At Cynthia Spencer Hospice donations left in Wills are vital to ensuring we can continue to care for those affected with Cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to people who have remembered the Hospice in their Will. Currently the care of one in five of our patients is funded by gifts in Wills.
Care is at the heart of everything the Hospice does. After you have taken care of your family please consider leaving a lasting gift in your Will to the Hospice. Every gift makes a difference – just 1% of your estate would have a significant impact on the care of future patients, so please consider supporting us in this way. When our Charity is fortunate enough to receive a legacy gift, our Trustees make sure it is used to help make a real difference to the care the Hospice provides. Our Charity uses legacy gifts to fund improvements to our service that would not normally be possible without such wonderful gifts.
What will you leave behind?
Making a Will enables you to choose who will get your assets instead of leaving the choice up to the Government. You may think you have nothing of value, however all of us have items of sentimental value and careful planning in the preparation of your Will ensures your loved ones are provided for and may avoid worries for them at a time of bereavement.
Your Will is an important legal document. Will writing solicitors are experienced not only in drawing up Wills, but advising on important related matters of law, such as succession, taxation, property matters and family problems.
Please see www.gov.uk for the most recent rates and bands.
To find out if Inheritance Tax is due on an estate, you must first value the estate. This means adding up the value of all the assets in the estate and deducting any liabilities, including household bills. Please note an estate also includes your share of any jointly owned assets. If you choose to leave a gift to the Hospice in your Will, as a charitable legacy it will be deducted before the amount of inheritance tax is calculated.
There are a number of different ways you can include the Hospice in your Will, depending on your circumstances. It doesn’t have to be a large amount, because every penny makes a difference.
Your solicitor or other professional adviser will help you with the wording of your gift, but here are some samples of wording you might consider:
By leaving a gift to Cynthia Spencer Hospice in your Will, you will help us to carry on our vital work for years to come. Since our humble beginnings in 1976 the number of people we have cared for has increased significantly and that figure is going to continue to grow, particularly in the community. Your gift will help to support the future of hospice care in your local community and help to provide a vital source of income that will make a real difference to the lives of our patients.
Every year in May, a number of solicitors across Northamptonshire generously offer Will writing appointments as part of our Make a Will Month scheme. The solicitors waive their normal fee and instead ask for a suggested donation - every penny of which goes to Cynthia Spencer Hospice. To register your interest please call John on 01604 973342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also find this guide a handy read too. If you'd like a copy, please contact John on the above telephone number or email. You can also pick one up at the Hospice or at our Donation Station.