St Luke’s are again running their annual campaign, Will Month, with the aim of making the process of getting a Last Will and Testament drawn-up as easy and affordable as possible.
Research by Opinium in 2015 showed that nearly 58% of adults in the UK have not written a Will. Making a Will is the only way you can be sure that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for after your death.
It’s important to make a Will if your circumstances change, for example if you buy a new house, have a baby, get married or divorced, or if you cohabit.
We spoke to Joasia Lesniak, St Luke’s Corporate Fundraising Manager, to get some more information on Will Month, as well as the other good work that this Sheffield institution has been doing.
Hello Joasia. Firstly, could you give us a little bit of background on St Luke’s and the services you provide for the people of Sheffield?
St Luke’s is an independent charity, and all our care is free of charge to people over 18 years old from across the city, with all kinds of terminal illness. Each year, we help around 1,500 patients either at our hospice or at home with our community nursing team. We also extend our support, counselling and practical help to family members too, so that each year our work touches the lives of around 5,000 people. We are not part of the NHS and rely on our generous supporters to keep our work going. In fact, of the £8 million it takes to deliver our services each year, £5.6 million of that has to come from donations taken from fundraising activities like our annual Will Month campaign.
For those of us with no experience when it comes to making a Will, what are they for and why is it so important to make one?
Most people assume that if anything were to happen to them all of their assets would automatically go to their next of kin; however this isn’t always the case. If no Will is in place, your money, property and possessions will be shared out according to the law instead of your wishes. Meaning they might pass to someone you hadn’t intended them to go to, or that someone you wanted to pass things on to may end up with nothing. Making a Will is the only way you can be sure that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for after your death so they’re a really important thing to make and update if your circumstances change.
“We’re making a Will to plan for our son’s future, and supporting St Luke’s at the same time.” – Lee & Lisa
What are the advantages of having a Will made with the St Luke’s Will Month campaign?
Taking part in our annual Will Month campaign is a great way for anyone wanting to have a Will professionally written or amended to do so for significantly less than usual, whilst supporting a local charity. Instead of charging for the service, our participating solicitors ask for a suggested donation amount which is then passed to us to help fund our care and services. The suggested donation for a basic single Will is £90, joint is £130, or £70 for a basic amendment to an existing Will. This is a lot less than you would usually pay.
How would anyone who is interested in taking advantage of Will Month go about starting the process?
It’s easier than you might think, just call our Will Month Hotline on 0114 235 7551 to find a participating solicitor near you and we’ll give you their contact details. You can then get in touch with the solicitor directly to make your appointment and have your Will written or amended. Once everything is complete, make your donation to St Luke’s via your solicitor and they will take care of the rest.
Do you have any events or fundraising opportunities coming up that our readers could get involved in?
We’ve just launched this year’s events calendar and there are lots of exciting things people can get involved with. We have all sorts of activities, ranging from a valuation day with Charles Hanson as seen on BBC’s Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow, to sponsored runs and skydives. All our events information is regularly updated on our website. We’re also one of the chosen charities for this year’s Master Cutler’s Challenge which is a great entrepreneurial challenge – perfect for small or large businesses to take part in and fundraise for two local South Yorkshire charities.
St Luke’s have added a special Will Month offer to the Now Then Discounts App. See the App for full details.
Interview by Ben Jackson
Images courtesy of St Luke’s Hospice