Local Solicitors support hospice charity with Wills campaign

Local solicitors Browns is supporting Havens Hospices by offering their time and expertise on Will Writing for free in exchange for a donation to the charity.

The law firm, which has offices in Benfleet and Billericay, has been supporting Havens Hospices’ ‘Wills All Year Round’ campaign since 2015 and regularly organises other fundraising activities at its offices for the charity.

Jane Lodeto, Solicitor at Browns says Havens Hospices is a charity that they are proud to support and has also trained staff at the charity about Wills and end of life legal matters so they could help patients.

She said: “The staff at Havens Hospices are amazing, I have met a lot of them over the past 12 years – I’ve been for a tour of Little Havens too which is just amazing, so uplifting and as a mum myself I hope the little we can do can help other mums and families.

“A few years back, I visited a client  to take their Will instructions whilst they were being cared for by Fair Havens at the end of their life. My client was a nurse herself and she told me that despite believing she was a good nurse, she had never been given the time to care for patients like the way the staff at Fair Havens had cared for her.

“Each Will we prepare under the scheme is a donation of around three hours of our time to help people to get their affairs in place for when a loved one dies or are at the end of their life. It gives them one less thing to worry about. We then collect a donation on behalf of the client which gets passed onto Havens Hospices – either £90 for an Individual Will, £150 for a pair of Mirror Wills or £50 for a codicil.”

Jane also explains that clients shouldn’t worry or feel anxious about getting their affairs in order and how there are many common misconceptions around the process of Will writing. She continues, “Clients are often worried when they come to see us – they worry that they will get upset or feel unsure about sharing information with us. Everything is entirely confidential – myself and my paralegal Vicki are very approachable and don’t use legal jargon when speaking to clients and try to make everything as clear as possible. The meetings generally take about half an hour, and they start with a chat so we can find out about the client we are meeting with. This may raise issues that we know could be relevant and they may not have thought about.

“Some people have the misconception that everything will just go to their spouse if they don’t have a Will. This is sometimes the case, but not always – what if their spouse died at the same time as them? Plus, it may be that making a Will leads them on to thinking about some Inheritance Tax planning.

 “Although some Wills are straightforward, I would always advocate using a solicitor to prepare even the most basic Will. We have had ‘homemade’ Wills signed by the wrong witnesses in the past which has meant gifts of hundreds of thousands of pounds in the Will have failed. We are here to help you so please feel free to give us a call on 01268 565769 to book an appointment.”

Over the past year around £1.5 million has been raised from generous supporters leaving a gift in their Will, helping to fund the charity’s specialist palliative and supportive care to children, young people and adults living with complex or incurable conditions across Essex.

Emma Hamilton, In Memory and Legacy Fundraiser at Havens Hospices said: “Last year legacies helped pay for the care of one in three of our patients across Havens Hospices. Leaving a gift in your Will to Havens Hospices means we can continue to provide free specialist hospice care for future generations.

“A huge thank you to Browns and all our participating solicitors across Essex who donate their time and fees in support of the hospice and to those who decide to leave a gift in their Will for the hospices – our care can only exist because of the support and generosity of the community.”

The Wills All Year Around campaign sees local solicitors give their time and expertise for free in exchange for donations to the charity that cares for adults, young people and children across Essex living with complex or incurable conditions.

The suggested donations are £90 for an individual Will, £150 for a pair of Mirror Wills or £50 for a for a codicil.

Visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/wills for a list of participating local solicitors or call Emma on 01702 220308 or more information.

Published on 6th May 2021 

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Jess and Jane from Browns Solicitors outside their office