• April 12, 2024
 Jade Gani’s new will-writing scheme project comes to fruition

Jade Gani’s new will-writing scheme project comes to fruition

Jade Gani, solicitor and head of wills, trusts and probate at Aston Bond law firm talks to Today’s Wills and Probate about an exciting new will-writing scheme project she has been working on that has finally come to fruition.

With sheer determination and hard work, Jade’s project, The Wishing Will Foundation (TWWF), has now been set up and soft-launched in honour of Jade’s late grandmother’s birthdays (they were on the same day!). It goes live to the members of the partnered hospices and charities Jade is working with – with a view to launch to the general public once they are up and running.

The Wishing Will Foundation is an all year round will-writing scheme designed to raise the importance and need for everyone to have a professionally drawn-up will, while raising vital funds for local partner charities. Jade talks to Today’s Wills and Probate about the new foundation…

How did the foundation come about? Why did you set it up?

Steve, Duncan & I had discussed the possibility of us setting up a ‘free Will scheme’ back when I joined Aston Bond in 2017, however, we all felt strongly that if we were going to do it, then it had to be done right. We knew that it would take a huge time commitment from us all (me in particular!) and we were busy trying to grow the Private Client department organically, as well as trying to become a leading example of best-practice. So last year, with the Private Client department becoming well-established, we were finally able to get it up and running – devoting the time and thought it deserved.

The pandemic has shown us the level of strain the NHS is under and, with a growing aging population, it has never been more important to consider how we will care for our sick and elderly when they need it most. We believe that incredible hospices, like Thames Hospice, will be relied upon more heavily than ever before and we wanted to help ensure they could continue to offer their amazing services for many more years to come. We are also very involved with other local charities, like Citizen’s Advice Bracknell & District, and realised we could support hospices and other local charities at the same time. So, we are finally live and ready to raise plenty of funds for our partnered hospices and charities, whilst also sharing information and increasing awareness of those hospices and charities throughout our whole network.

How does it work?

It depends on how you come to use the Scheme: if you are a member of the general public then you make a donation of the Solicitor’s usual fees to TWWF before completing your Will. TWWF then use these funds to make grants to its partnered hospices and charities. If you come to us through a partnered hospice, then you have the option of making your donation as a gift to TWWF in your Will and that donation goes back to your hospice in the form of grants. If you come to us through one of our partnered charities, then you make a donation of the Solicitor’s usual fees to TWWF before completing your Will, with half of this going to your charity and the other half being made in grants to our partnered hospices.

We partner with specialist Solicitors who will expertly prepare your Will for you. They can meet you at your hospice, charity premises, home or their office to take your instructions. They won’t charge any hidden fees and will store your Will for free for you, once it is all signed. While the Solicitors are busy helping you draft your Will, TWWF is working away to highlight the invaluable work our hospices and charities undertake, as well as encouraging more awareness throughout our community of those great causes. We will also deal with the payment of all grants made to our hospices and charities as well as ensuring the Solicitors we partner with continue to meet our strict standards.

What differentiates you /sets you apart from other Will writing schemes such as Will Aid?

Unlike most other Will writing schemes, The Wishing Will Foundation operates all year round. We set strict drafting standards by working with qualified solicitors who are STEP or SFE accredited and we never charge hidden fees. We also work with smaller, local charities and don’t spend money on expensive marketing so the maximum amount of donations can be utilised by our partnered charities and hospices. And, for the ease of those most poorly using the scheme, we provide them with the option of making their donation in their Will, so that they can rest easy throughout the process.

How can Solicitors get involved?

If you are a Solicitor and would like to get involved then you should head to our website to check whether you meet our ‘Solicitor Standards’ – if you meet the criteria then all you need to do is contact us at info@wishingwill.org.uk with the following information:-
a. Your firm name, address and company SRA number;
b. The name of the Solicitors who will take responsibility of the Scheme at your firm together with their SRA number;
c. The STEP or SFE member number of the person who will take responsibility of the Scheme at your firm;
d. Whether there is a limit to the number of Wills you are prepared to undertake each month; and
e. A copy of your professional indemnity insurance.

What is the criteria to get on the panel?

If you are a hospice or smaller charity local to the Thames Valley area and would like to join our panel of partnered hospices or charities then please do get in contact with us at info@wishingwill.org.uk to discuss this further. If you are a hospice or smaller charity local to any other area of England & Wales and would like to register your interest in having the scheme run in your area, then please do contact us at the same email address and we will look into partnering with Solicitors in your area.

If you are a Solicitor wanting to join our panel of partnered Solicitors, then you should check our ‘Solicitor Standards’ here before registering your interest as detailed above.

Explain TWWF’s objectives in three sentences?

We aim to reduce the amount of Intestate Estates whilst simultaneously raising money for local hospices and charities who support the most vulnerable members of our community. We do this by facilitating the preparation of expertly drafted Wills in exchange for donations. We help people get their affairs in order, granting them piece of mind, whilst also providing them with the opportunity to support fantastic, local good causes.

What does success look like?

Success is making a difference for the better and a legacy for tomorrow.

More information can be found at The Wishing Will Foundation website here.

 

Toni Ryder-McMullin

Toni is the Media Officer for Today’s Conveyancer, Today’s Wills & Probate and Today's Family Lawyer. I worked for a law firm for 16 years, during my time at the firm I worked as a company commercial legal secretary for 7 years but changed careers and moved into marketing for the remaining 9 years – where I covered all aspects of marketing. While in the marketing role, I achieved a CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing and CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing.