Why you need to make a will | St Joseph's Hospice

Why you need to make a will

‘Thanks Nursie’ 

The story about Patsy Byrne in the Mail on Sunday yesterday reminds us all about the importance of making a will.

Patsy, a much-loved actress, probably best known as “Nursie” in Blackadder, recently had her will published and it seems she wasn’t aware of the fortune she had amassed. 

According to the Mail on Sunday: 

‘Her instructions were that five of her six stepchildren should inherit £20,000 each, with the remainder of her estate going to the sixth. 

But when she died at the age of 80 last year, Ms Byrne actually left £1.5 million – leaving stepdaughter Monica Seccombe with a potential £900,000 legacy, after inheritance tax. Happily, Ms Seccombe has shared out the money equally with her four sisters; their brother Christopher having died last year at the age of 58, leaving no children.’

St Joseph’s Hospice received a substantial donation of £50,000 from the estate and we are very grateful to her family for thinking of us and this incredible gift that will help our patients.

What can we learn from this story?
Nursie’s story reminds us of the importance of making a will. 

At the hospice we work with people facing serious, and terminal illness. Part of our holistic approach is to encourage people to make plans for their future, and that includes making a will. We’re only too aware of the stress bereaved families have when coping with a loss. But if their loved one has not expressed their wishes in a will – it adds to the stress – and all too often causes major and long lasting division in the family. 

Making a will
Making a will is one of the most important things you can do. According to Saga, nearly 60% of us haven’t written a will meaning that effectively we lose control over who gets our assets and our loved ones and our favourite charities may end up losing out. Without a will the law will decide who receives what from your estate so it’s important to have conversations with your loved ones and think about how you want to distribute your assets.

Where can I get more information about making a will?
A solicitor will be able to advise you on how to make your will. We’ve also put together some useful links that explain more about wills:

Age UK – Making a will 

Gov UK – Making a will

Which? Writing a will 

Money Advice Service – DIY will what you need to know 

Money Saving Expert – Free and cheap wills 

Which? Living wills explained 

Your will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. So it’s important to make one – even if you are young and healthy. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” 

If you are interested in finding out how you could leave money in your will to St Joseph’s Hospice (no matter how big or small), visit the Leaving a Gift in My Will section of our website.

We would like to hear from you