In the lead up to one of the biggest soap send-offs to hit our screens this year, Principality Building Society has launched a new Will writing service and is urging people to consider the benefits of making a Will.
Millions of viewers tuned in to BBC One to watch Pat Evans’ (Pam St Clements) last moments on New Year’s Day and have since watched her family search through her belongings in the hope of finding her funeral details documented in her last Will and testament.
But with no knowledge of her wishes, this Friday (13th January) Pat will be given one of the biggest send-offs Eastenders has ever seen, with a ‘premier’ funeral package which includes black plumed horses, a cherry wood casket and two top of the range limousines.
Barclay Sansom, Insurance and Protection Manager at Principality Building Society, said: “The recent Eastenders storyline really highlights the burden that not making prior arrangements can have on the lives of loved one’s left behind. We all want our beloved to have the send-off that they expressly want but this means that early preparation is needed to ensure that these wishes are documented.
“That’s just one of the benefits of a written Will, the other, is to ensure that your money, assets and possessions go to who you want. You may think you have nothing to leave, but if you look at your car, your home, your life assurance, perhaps even the death-in-service benefit from your work, they can all add up to a worthwhile total. Even if you don’t think you have significant assets and have a younger family, Wills can help ensure your children are cared for if for example tragedy strikes. The document can detail the appointment of guardians for children and can also ensure that your children won’t inherit any large sums until they reach the age of 18 if you choose.
“When people die intestate – without a will – there is no choice at all over how their estate is divided up. In practice this means that your spouse may get a much lesser proportion than they were expecting and for people who are not married but living with a partner, the picture is even bleaker – the surviving partner may not be entitled to receive anything at all. Many people assume that their wishes will be carried out because they have discussed it with their family but unfortunately this is not the case.”
According to research by Hugh James Solicitors, who will provide the service on behalf of Principality, between a half and two thirds of adults in England and Wales have not made a Will
Barclay added: “At Principality, we offer our members and customers mortgages, saving and investments – all of which are assets that should be named on a Will - we recognise that we have a responsibility to also offer these customers the opportunity to ensure their holdings with us are named and assigned to their chosen beneficiaries upon death, through a written Will. The New Year often represents a good time to get your affairs in order and writing a will is an easy resolution to keep.
“Unfortunately Pat Evans, better known by fans as Pat Butcher, died unexpectedly and her family have not been able to find any reference to her funeral wishes. Planning ahead will ensure that your wishes are understood, from the service you would like to what happens to your assets after your death. While none of us enjoy thinking about our deaths, failing to consider the lives of our loved ones after we die means we risk leaving them with little more than financial insecurity.”
The Principality Will writing services include:
• Professional advice from a highly experienced Wills, trusts and probate team.
• Professional advice to deal with complex issues such as:
– Specialist trusts to provide for Children in need of care;
– Multiple assets;
– Overseas assets;
– Charity donations.
• A professional executor service to deal with estate administration.
• Expert assessment and review of existing Wills.
• Free Will storage in a secure area.
• A convenient service over the telephone, in-branch or at a location of your choice if you opt for the premium service.
Principality (principality.co.uk) is the 7th largest building society in the UK. To find out more about the Principality Will writing service call into any of Principality’s 52 branches across Wales and the borders or call 0800 678 1000.