Where There’s a Will

Don Russell

Don Russell

John Taylor Hospice is joining forces with a local legal firm to offer a convenient way of making a will.

The Birmingham-based Hospice has designated October Wills Month and has partnered with West Midlands solicitors Benson-Williams to offer reduced price will-writing.

People contacting the law firm via John Taylor Hospice will be able to have a standard will written for £60 and Benson-Williams will give half of that fee to the Hospice, helping John Taylor to provide care and support to more than 600 people, their families and carers at any one time.

Benson-Williams director Jim Stanistreet says: “Our aim here is to make writing a will easy and at a discounted rate for the client. We will go out to them, at a time that is convenient for them, whether that be a weekend or an evening.

“And half of the fee they are paying will be a donation to John Taylor Hospice so they are raising money at the same time.”

Hospice social worker Don Russell says many families prefer not to think of the future – but that can mean their wishes won’t be met.

“People tend to veer away from making a will because it may be tempting fate,” says Don. “But it can relieve a lot of tension and worry when they do. Knowing that they have made their wishes known and prepared for the future can give a sense of peace.”

Don, whose role involves supporting families to access a range of services and benefits, feels making a will can be part of preparing for end of life and, by making wishes known, it can be supportive for loved ones left behind.

“There are all kinds of things people need to think about,” he says. “It isn’t just property and assets, it can also be things like whether you want to be buried or cremated, your funeral wishes, who you wish to be executor of the will. It is all part of your end of life planning.”

There can be a few legal surprises for families who have not prepared.

“I have seen cases where people have not been married or in a civil partnership but have been together for many years and they assume that what they own will automatically go to their partner,” adds Don. “But, because they have not made a will and there are other next of kin or no next of kin, their partners get nothing. Making a will can make end of life much less complicated.”

If you would like to take advantage of John Taylor Hospice’s Wills Month please contact the Community Investment Crew on 0121 465 2000 or email Janet.Nevett@nhs.net