It’s a simple thing to overlook, after all, none of us like to think about our own mortality. But what if we are facing the possibility of a condition, one that could degenerate over time and may leave us unable to express our wishes. Dementia is a condition that one in fourteen of us will develop over the age of 65. Its symptoms are not a natural part of the ageing process. Young onset dementia can also affect people of working age who have jobs, commitments and plans for their futures.
A Will can set out your wishes such as who will take care of children and pets or where specific items should go when you die. Yet making a Will still remains on most of our to-do lists. Almost 70% of co-habiting couples have no Will, meaning that on death, the surviving partner would have no automatic right to inherit. There is also the growing issue of digital assets such as social media profiles, bank accounts, emails and photographs. Considering these in a Will can offer peace of mind that executors can access and close social media accounts or save sentimental items such as photographs.
Simon Cook, partner and head of the Wills, probate and trusts team at Willans LLP said “We’re proud to be involved with Cobalt’s Make a Will Month again this year. Making a Will yourself can be tempting but mistakes can be costly. ‘Do it yourself’ Wills can leave out essential information or not account for changes that might occur in the future causing your wishes to be invalid”.
A charity initiative in Gloucestershire is seeking to address the problem. This April various Gloucestershire solicitors, are donating their expertise and time, free of charge to write or update straightforward Wills. In return clients can make a donation to local medical charity Cobalt. Suggested donations are £100 for a single Will and £150 for mirror Wills.
Julia Jenkins, Head of Fundraising, Cobalt said: ‘We’re so grateful for the support of local solicitors with this. All people need to do is ring up for a pack or download one from along with a voucher to redeem at the solicitors. Then choose and book an appointment with their preferred solicitor. Appointments will be available in April but clients are advised to book early to avoid disappointment’.
You should also review your arrangements regularly to make sure your Will continues to reflect your wishes, especially if you have a life-changing event such as:
- entering a civil partnership
- having children or other relatives you wish to benefit
- buying a new house or other expensive asset.
Gifts in Wills have enabled Cobalt to fund some life changing services and equipment over the years including contribution to local, national and international cancer and dementia research programmes.
Follow Cobalt on Twitter @cobaltfr or like @CobaltSupporters on Facebook.
The Charity’s next fundraising campaign is around dementia. It sets out to raise £150,000 to fund dementia research nurses, research trials using specialist equipment, free scans for patients with young onset dementia and a partnership with local hospitals to enhance facilities for patients with dementia and their families.