September 2015 | by Jo Dallas, Legacy Coordinator
The experience of Maggie Roderick, a Christian Aid supporter from Stirling, shows just how important it is to keep your Will up to date.
Ahead of Will Aid month last year, I wrote an article about the importance of having a Will, especially if like me you have young children. A year on, I have come to more fully appreciate how important it is not only to have a Will, but also to keep it updated as your circumstances change.
This was brought home to me recently during a conversation I had with a Christian Aid supporter and Church of Scotland minister, Maggie Roderick, when she shared her personal experience of losing her husband very suddenly.
Though they both had Wills, when a heart attack at the age of 50 claimed Kevin's life, Maggie discovered that the do-it-yourself Will he had written wasn't worth the paper it was written on.
Struggling to come to terms with being a widow and a single parent to two young children, Maggie also had to quickly come to terms with the fact that their legal affairs were not in order, and the Will was invalid.
Maggie, who now lives in Stirling, says that one of the very first things she did following her husband's death was to get a new Will drawn up, this time using the professional services of a local solicitor. A priority at this time was to make sure the Will made provision for legal guardians for her young children, should anything happen to her.
Fast-forward several years to her marriage to her second husband Dave and the first thing they did before they headed off on their honeymoon was to see a solicitor and sign their new mirror Wills. Not top of the list for most newlyweds, but Maggie's past experience had taught her a hard lesson.
Now, both among friends and in her professional capacity as a minister, Maggie doesn't shy away from raising the subject of Wills:
'I often broach the subject of Wills and life insurance during marriage preparation sessions with couples. It can so easily be overlooked, but it's something they should really think about, especially if they already have children or plan to have a family.'
Your opportunity to leave a legacy this November
Many of us intend to make a Will or to update our current one, but we often fail to make time to do it.
Once again in November, Will Aid provides that helpful nudge to get your affairs in order while benefitting Christian Aid and eight other charities.
Participating solicitors will draw up your Will for free and invite you to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid.
Last year the campaign raised over £2 million in donations. Christian Aid's share of this supported our work fighting poverty and transforming lives.
Will Aid runs from 1 - 30 November. It's easy to find a solicitor near you who is taking part this year by visiting the Will Aid website. Or you can ring me, Jo Dallas, Legacy Coordinator on 0141 241 6139 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention that you need to have a Will in order to leave specific gifts to your close family and friends, and to support your favourite charities with a legacy.
Maggie is very open and honest about her intentions when she is no longer here:
'My husband and children are my priority but Christian Aid, the Church of Scotland and another charity close to my heart all feature in my Will.
'Where I leave my money goes hand in hand with my Christian values. And if something happens to all of us then I also have a plan B - everything goes to charity.
'It's important to have a plan B. And if you don't have a Will at all, don't leave it until it's too late. Use a charity Will-writing scheme like Will Aid and have that peace of mind.'
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