‘It comforts me knowing I’ll always be there for them’

It is estimated that over half of UK adults haven’t made a Will. By leaving a Will, you can make sure that your money, property and possessions are shared out according to your wishes. Eileen, 78, from Haywards Heath, who lost her husband at our hospice five years ago, recently wrote her Will, and is encouraging others to do the same.

‘When my husband Ted died, he didn’t have a Will in place,’ she says. ‘Thankfully, because we were married with children I inherited his estate, but I learnt that if I didn’t write a Will, the house and our savings might not be shared out as I’d like. Still, I buried my head in the sand as I thought it would be a complicated, long-winded process. It was only when I was diagnosed with cancer myself last year and found myself worrying about my family so often that I realised how important it was.

‘I have three sons and two grandchildren. My eldest grandchild, Ryan, and his wife, Charlotte, are expecting their first baby early next year which is so exciting, and my youngest, Rosie, who is training as a physiotherapist, has plans to travel the world and volunteer her skills. I’m bursting with pride! It comforts me knowing I’ll still be able to help them, even after I’ve gone, and that they’ll be saved the stress of having to sort it all out.

‘My husband and I were touched immeasurably by the care we had from St Peter & St James, so I’ve left a legacy to them too. It’s wonderful to know that we will help families going through what we did who might need the hospice in years to come. The love and compassion of the nurses shone light into a dark time for us, and I know it would have meant a lot to Ted to pass that on.

‘I thought I’d be filling out reams of paperwork and getting very confused, but it was nothing like I imagined! There were two Will-writing appointments that took about half an hour each, and the gentleman we met with at the solicitors explained my options so clearly. He offered impartial advice and listened to everything I wanted. I now have a Will in place that reflects all of my wishes. I can’t believe I left it so long – I have peace of mind now.