Free Will Month 1 - 31 March

Your community, your charity, your legacy.

Do you need to make a will, or do you need to make updates to yours? This March you could have your basic single or mirror will written or updated for free during St Margaret’s Free Will Month.

Solicitors from across Somerset have chosen to support St Margaret's Free Will Month. They are all registered with the Law Society of England and Wales and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We are also working with an online will writing provider Kwil to be able to offer online wills. They have experts available on Livechat and over the telephone 7 days per week to help you complete the paperwork.

At St Margaret’s Hospice Care we have no legal expertise and cannot give legal advice, so we always advise that that you consult a solicitor to ensure your will is valid and covers all legal formalities.

Why remember St Margaret’s Hospice Care in your will?

You will no doubt wish, first of all, to provide for those closest to you. But many people also choose to support the causes that are important to them so that the impact of their will reaches even further.

When writing your will, you will be asked if you would like to leave a gift in your will to charity as part of your appointment. This can be any charity that is close to your heart. 

We understand this is a big personal decision, so there is no obligation to remember St Margaret's in your will or give us a donation. If you do choose to leave us a gift in your will, you will touch the lives of families across Somerset who need to access hospice care and support, ensuring there is somewhere for them to turn to when they need it. 

free wills month st margaret's hospice care free wills month st margaret's hospice care free wills month st margaret's hospice care

What's next?

This year we have two ways in which you can write and/or update your will, either with one of our local participating solicitors or online via our partner Kwil.

Booking a solicitor’s appointment

 As a result of COVID-19 many solicitors are offering video call and telephone appointments as well as face to face appointments. When you call the solicitor, they will be able to let you know what type of appointments they can offer you depending on the current government guidelines.

Step 1: Look through the list of solicitors below and decide which one you'd like to contact.

Step 2: Call the solicitor in March to arrange your appointment during St Margaret’s Free Will Month

Step 3: Your appointment must be booked in March, however, the appointment itself can take place at a later date. 

Step 4: The solicitor will ask about your wishes and what you'd like to include in your will. They will ask you if you would like to leave a gift in your will to charity.

Step 5: Your solicitor will ask if you are happy to share your contact details with St Margaret's to receive updates about our work.

Step 6: You can choose to inform us if you have left a gift in your will to St Margaret’s. If you have decided to pledge a gift to us in your will, you’ll receive an exclusive pin badge and most importantly we can thank you!

 There are a limited number of appointments available, so please contact your preferred solicitor as early as possible in March to secure yours.

Making a will online with Kwil

Step 1: Click here to visit the St Margaret's page on Kwil. This will take you to the will writing form, you will be asked to complete the initial questions to check if you are eligible for an online will.

Step 2: As you complete the form, if Kwil believes your wishes are more complex and need some extra advice not included in the free will offer, they will advise you to speak to a solicitor. They will give you a number of their partner solicitor who could help you. However, you may prefer to speak to a local solicitor instead. They will be able to help you and advise how much it will cost for the advice they need to give you not included in the offer

Step 3: If you are eligible you will be taken to a step by step form to complete with your wishes. To get your free will you'll need to put in the promotion code SMHFREE when asked.

Step 4: Once the form is completed you will be sent a copy to print and you can get it signed and witnessed.

Step 5: The form will have a section where you can share your contact details with St Margaret’s to received updates about our work.

Step 6: You can also choose to inform us if you have left a gift in your will to St Margaret’s. If you have decided to pledge a gift to us in your will, you’ll receive an exclusive pin badge and most importantly a thank you!

 

Free Will Month participating solicitors

You can take up your free will by contacting one of our participating solicitors directly between 1 and 31 March 2021.

Mendip & Wells

Chubb Bulleid

Strode House, 10 Leight Road, Street BA16 0HA

01749 836108

Chubb Bulleid

7 Market Place, Wells BA5 2RJ

01749 836108

QualitySolicitors Gould & Swayne

31 High Street, Glastonbury, BA6 9HA

01458 833700

QualitySolicitors Gould & Swayne

76 High Street, Street, BA16 0EN

01458 833700

South Somerset

Berensens

14 Holyrood Street, Chard, TA20 2AH

01460 494100

Chubb Bulleid

Langler House, Market Place, Somerton, TA11 7LZ

01749 836108

Humphries Kirk

Poole House, 17 Market Street, Crewkerne, TA18 7JU

01460 279100

(select option 3 to
speak to a member
of the Private
Client Team)

Taunton

Broomhead & Saul

10 Hammet Street, Taunton, TA1 1RZ

01823 288121

Taunton Solicitors

2 Tangier Central, Taunton, TA1 4AP

01823 351122

Yeovil & East Somerset

Battens

Francis House, Fore Street, Castle Cary, BA7 7BQ

01963 407060

Gareth Webb

5-6 Church Terrace, Yeovil, BA20 1HX

01935 428885

Routh Clarke

The Brambles, 11 Head Street, Tintinhull, Yeovil, BA22 8QH

01935 823883

Frequently Asked Questions and Legal Terms

  • Peace of mind knowing that your wishes are being followed - without a will, the law decides how your estate is distributed, and therefore it may go to people that you never intended to benefit
  • It will ensure that you give your assets to the people and causes that have been important to you throughout your life. This means you can continue to support your favourite charities like St Margaret’s Hospice Care
  • It makes it easier for family and friends to take care of your estate
  • It protects the rights of your partner - many people assume that, once they die, everything is passed to their spouse or partner - but this is not always the case.
  • It can help minimise the amount of inheritance tax that might need to be paid on your estate

Whilst you can write your own will, we recommend that you use a solicitor. Getting your wishes written down professionally will save a lot of time and money for your family and executors in the future.

If you are having your will written by a solicitor, they will guide you through this process, and suggest what you will need to consider. This is likely to include:

  • Making a list of your assets, and their estimated value. This should include any property you own, savings, stocks and shares, life insurance, and any particularly valuable possessions.
  • Make a list of families, friends or charities who you would like to benefit, and decide what you would like to give to them. This gift could be a particular item, an amount of money, or a share of your estate.
  • Think about who you would like to appoint as executors – the people or organisation who will ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. These could be family, friends, or professionals such as a solicitor.
  • If you are a parent, appoint a guardian – this is very important to ensure your children are left in the care of the person you wish.

There are several different ways that you can leave a gift in your will:

  • You can leave a specific amount of money (sometimes called a “pecuniary bequest”)
  • You can leave a proportion of your estate, once all other gifts have been paid. This can be the entire residue, or a percentage of it (sometimes called a “residuary bequest”).
  • You can leave a particular item – for example a painting, a jewellery collection.

The type of will you can have prepared or updated as part of the St Margaret's Free Will Month is a basic single or mirror will. Whether your will is classed as basic or not will depend on the work involved in preparing a document to ensure it meets all your requirements. Your solicitor will be able to let you know if everything you’d like to include in your will is classed as a basic will. If not, your solicitor can let you know what this extra advice will cost and you can pay them directly for this. As long as your wishes are classed as simple by your solicitor our Free Will Month is free. 

Many people when making or updating their will chose to leave a gift to charity, by using the St Margaret’s Hospice Free Will Service you are under no obligation to leave us a gift in your will.

Of course, we would expect you to remember your family and friends first in your will.

If the total value of your estate (i.e. all of your assets, less any debts) at death is in excess of the allowance at the time, then Inheritance Tax (or IHT) will be payable on however much that excess is. The tax is paid from the assets of your estate before any gifts are paid out, so it can reduce the value of what is being left to your beneficiaries.

The allowance (or “threshold”) before IHT needs to be paid is relatively high and is being raised further over the next few years. You should seek advice on whether your estate may be liable for IHT – for many people, it may not be.

However, if your estate is likely to be subject to IHT, then leaving a gift to charity may help to reduce the amount of tax otherwise payable. Registered charities such as St. Margaret’s Hospice are exempt from IHT, and any gifts to them may help to reduce (or sometimes reduce entirely) the amount of tax your estate would otherwise be liable for.

Executors will be specifically named in the will. They ensure that your wishes are correctly carried out and sort out the administrative details of the will – selling any assets, settling any tax or other debts, and then paying any gifts to family, friends or charity. Most people appoint two executors to share the work involved - however there can be a maximum of four people named as executors to anyone will. Your executors could be family, close friends or a professional such as your solicitor.

It is vital that you review your will regularly to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances. When something in your life changes, getting married or divorced, moving to a new house, having a baby, becoming a grandparent, it’s a good time to change an existing will. Keeping your will up to date is just as important as making one in the first place, as it is the only way to ensure your wishes are followed and your estate is distributed in exactly the way you wish.

If there are several changes to be made, then the best way to amend a current will is to go and see your solicitor to make sure changes are written in properly and professionally. You may even be able to make use of our Free Will Month campaign to have these changes made. It is also possible to update your current will by adding a codicil.

A codicil is a document that need not change the rest of the content of your current will - it can simply add a new instruction. The codicil should be completed in front of two witnesses who should then both sign the form. It is recommended, to ensure the new clause ties in with your existing will that you see your solicitor about the amendment made. This codicil is then kept with your will.

Please email us for a Codicil to add a legacy to St Margaret’s Hospice to an existing, straightforward will.

In the past St Margaret’s Hospice have had Will Writing Weeks where instead of paying a solicitor for making or updating a will supporters could make a donation to the hospice instead. This campaign is different and there is no obligation to give us a donation now.

If you would like to know any more, please get in touch − our Legacy Officer on 01823 365603, for a discreet and confidential conversation.



 

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I have supported St Margaret’s for a number of years and the charity was very close to my Dad’s heart so deciding to leave a gift in my will to them was a way of continuing his legacy. I found it really positive and useful on a number of levels. It’s useful for you because you know that it’s done. You’ve made your decisions and have cleared your mind. It’s useful for your family so that they know what your wishes are. And by giving a gift to charity it will help others too. You feel really good when you’ve done it. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending you book an appointment.

- Previous Free Will Month participant

Do you have any questions?

If you have any questions about the campaign you can also call our Legacy Officer for a discreet and confidential conversation on 01823 365603.

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