Our Gifts and in Memory Officer, Kelly Jack says the process is as easy as 1…2…3
“At 27 I'm too young”, “I can't find the time”, “I don't have anything worth giving!”… These were just a few of the reasons I'd used to justify why I hadn't gotten around to writing my Will yet. Given that my job is to look after the gifts in Wills that are left to The Brain Tumour Charity, this was pretty embarrassing.
I've seen first-hand how messy it can be when someone dies without a Will or with one that hasn't been written properly, yet still I kept putting it off.
Even when The Brain Tumour Charity partnered with the National Free Wills Network, meaning that I could have my Will written for free, somehow I just didn't want to think about it.
Because death is morbid, and no one wants to think about it.
But Wills aren't about death, they're about providing peace of mind, looking after the people you care about and making a lasting difference.
So I decided it's time to put my money where my mouth is.
Once I'd been referred to the National Free Wills Network, I received my pack in the post a few days later. Inside, there was a list of six local participating solicitors (well, some local, some a little further afield. But hey, it's a free service!), and a simple cover letter explaining what to do next.
I called the first solicitors on the list and spoke to a lovely gentleman who asked some initial questions to assess my needs. He wanted to know my rough plans; what I have and where I want it to go.
The solicitor explained that your Will is probably the most important document you'll ever write, and you don't get the chance to test it until it's too late, so it's definitely worth seeing a professional rather than picking up a DIY Will writing pack from the shop.
In no time at all I received my draft Will in the post, along with a hugely helpful cover letter. If you've never read a Will before it can feel like another language, but the cover letter helped to explain the jargon and helped me understand everything. I emailed the solicitor with one or two questions (I wanted to specify that I'd like to donate my organs where possible) and I booked my appointment.
And, of course, I wanted to leave a gift to The Brain Tumour Charity; 5% of whatever is left after my loved ones are looked after. It may not amount to much, but in an area as underfunded as research into brain tumours, there's no such thing as a small donation.
When I arrived at my appointment the solicitor went through every detail of my Will, then I simply signed on the dotted line.
And that was that.
I've always thought that leaving a charitable gift in your Will is one of the most gentle, altruistic, special things a person can do and it feels nice to be part of a club that has already made such a difference to our work.
A Will is the last direct, physical impact that a person has on this world, and so many people choose to really make it count. I think there's something wonderful about knowing that no matter what happens, the last thing we did on this Earth, with this life, is a good deed.
I'm happy with that.