Annette's story – why making a Will helps

Wednesday 9 October

Annette's story – why making a Will helps

In 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer and now I’ve gone into Stage 4 with secondary liver cancer.

Cancer doesn’t run in my family, so when I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know who to turn to, who to ask for help or to seek advice from.

I first came to Maggie’s after one of my radiotherapy sessions. As soon as I walked in, I felt so welcomed. I was overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to me. It felt like being given a big hug – and a big hug can mean everything when you’re feeling vulnerable.

I now come to Maggie’s as often as I can – at least three times a week. I’ve done lots of the workshops and classes and really enjoy the yoga.

I’m not looking forward to what’s coming next, but I do know that, whatever happens, I’ve got the love and support of the people at Maggie’s to help me through this journey.

At Maggie’s one day, I was told about the Will-writing service that’s offered to visitors. It’s completely free, so I decided to do it and to leave a gift in my Will to Maggie’s.

With help from the solicitors who do the Will-writing service, making my Will wasn’t too difficult, and it’s worth it; it gives you and your family that peace of mind and helps you feel like you’ve got everything in place. I hope my gift will mean that my Maggie’s is always here, a place of sanctuary for other people to use in their time of need.

Questions about making a Will?

Lucy and Naomi of JMW Solicitors offer free Will-writing services at Maggie’s. They answer some of the most-asked questions about making a Will...

What is a Will?

Lucy: A Will is a legal document in which a person stipulates their wishes as to where they want their estate to go after they die. It also appoints a number of people known as ‘executors’ who will manage the estate after death, right up to final distribution.

Who needs a Will?

Lucy: Everybody needs a Will. They are vitally important. It’s the only way of stating where you want your assets to go after you die. It’s especially important if you are married, have children or have quite a few assets.

What are some of the common misconceptions you hear from people who think that they don’t need a Will?

Naomi: Many people think that if you’re married, everything automatically goes to the surviving spouse. This is not the case; especially if you have assets above £250,000 in total and you’ve got children, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

Why should people have a legally valid, up-todate Will?

Naomi: It allows you to choose who you want your estate to go to when you die. It’s also important because it helps your friends, family and loved ones to know what your wishes would have been so they’re not having to make those difficult decisions at an already very difficult time. Although not applicable to everybody, making a Will can also help to alleviate or reduce liability to inheritance tax.

Why is it important that people write or update their Will with a qualified professional?

Lucy: We’ve seen lots of cases where homemade Wills have been used and they’ve not been valid. They are quite strict formalities in relation to what is classified as a formal Will, so it’s important that these requirements are followed.

What happens at a Maggie’s Will-writing appointment?

Naomi: You can book a Will appointment through your Maggie’s centre. At the appointment, the solicitor will ask you questions about what your wishes are in relation to the Will and, where applicable, also give you some advice about the considerations you should have when making a Will. Making a basic Will with Maggie’s is completely free.

What would you say to someone who is nervous about coming to a Will-writing appointment?

Naomi: For anybody thinking about making an appointment through Maggie’s, I would say please don’t be nervous, it’s a very relaxed, informal appointment. We’ll put you at ease and explain everything to you. We’re there to support you through the whole process.

How can people include a gift to charity in their Will? Is it easy to do?

Lucy: Many people choose to include a gift to charity, including Maggie’s. It’s easy to do and is a clause we can draft for you. If you do already have a Will and want to update it to include a gift to Maggie’s, this is something we can easily include.

What are the different types of gift people can leave to Maggie’s in their Will?

Lucy: You can leave anything you wish. You can share a gift of the 'residue': this is your whole estate after the payments of your funeral and expenses. This may be a percentage, such as 1% or 10%. You can also leave a set amount of money.

Why do you support Maggie’s by offering free Will-writing services?

Naomi: When I come to the Will-writing appointments at Maggie’s and I meet visitors to the centre, it’s always really lovely to hear how Maggie’s has supported them. Because of that, it’s a real pleasure for us to be able to support Maggie’s in this way.


Make a Will with Maggie's

Please consider leaving a gift to Maggie’s in your Will too – your gift will mean Maggie’s can always be there in future to support everyone with cancer when they desperately need help.

We've got lots of information on how to make a Will, why it's important and how you can remember Maggie's by leaving a gift.

If you'd like to talk anything through, just pop in to one of our centres, email or call us on 0300 123 1801.