Laura Bennett is Epilepsy Action’s individual giving and membership manager. She outlines a new Epilepsy Action partnership that helps take care of loved ones when you’re gone
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been asking Epilepsy Action Facebook fans: “What’s on your bucket list?” This is the list of things you want to do before you die (‘kick the bucket’, as they say).
For some, traveling somewhere exotic or meeting a lifelong hero was top of their list. Others had personal ambitions in work or education. Of course, many of you wanted to experience life with seizure control.
Whatever is on your bucket list, we hope you’ll have room to add something truly life-changing: to remember people with epilepsy in your will.
Dispelling some myths
People often think of a gift in your will – sometimes called a legacy – as something other people do. However, a gift in your will is just another way of supporting a cause that has made a difference in your life, or the life of someone you love.
You can make a gift as high in value or as modest as you wish. It can simply be a share of what’s left after all your financial commitments have been paid and the gifts to your loved ones have been made.
It’s not even very difficult to do. If you already have a will, you can add a one-sentence ‘codicil’ – this is a legally binding statement of your wish. That wish could be to make a donation to Epilepsy Action. If you haven’t yet written a will, you can write a simple will for as little as between £50 and £100.
Epilepsy Action is running its first ever Will Week between 24 and 30 September. It’s the perfect time to write or update your will! A gift in your will can be a true legacy – a way to create a lasting difference in the world. Your gift can help bring specialist healthcare to everyone with epilepsy. It can inform and empower the next generation. Your gift can help create fair opportunities for people with epilepsy and stamp out stigma forever.
This Will Week, share our vision for a brighter future and remember people with epilepsy in your will.
“Mum was evacuated from London bombings 73 years ago, at the age of 15. She was taken to a small village called Dormans Land. Her brothers were at war overseas and her sister was married. Mum often went to the local surrounding villages to do shopping, with her mother.
“Nearby, there was an epileptic colony in Lingfield. Mum often witnessed seizures of all different types. She soon developed an empathy for these patients. Mum always remembered this and always donated money to help fight epilepsy. She always wanted a better life for those people.
“Mum was widowed in 1974. In 1986, her second grandchild – our son – was diagnosed with epilepsy at age of 8. She saw him manage his condition – with the help of modern drugs – go to college and eventually to university. Mum was so excited at the development of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator. She was delighted when her grandson received one in 2006.
“When Mum died in 2010, she left a letter, asking us to give to Epilepsy Action. It wasn’t a huge amount, just her way of encouraging the betterment of people with epilepsy and their families.”
Sandra Hough, daughter of Joan Evans
During Will Week, Epilepsy Action is partnering with a group of solicitors called Bequest, who specialise in will writing. For more information on their services, visit www.bequest-legal.com or call 0800 195 8466.
One of the group – solicitors Simpson Millar – are offering a 25 per cent discount to Epilepsy Action members on their hourly rate for wills and probate services. Just call them on 0844 858 3200 and quote your membership number (open to UK residents only).