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In praise of - will aid.

Making a will.

In many households, it ranks up there with clearing out the gutters and eating more kale as "one of those things we really must do". After a certain age, the subject starts cropping up with smug friends who have just made theirs. "You haven't got a will? Really? We're so glad we've done ours. You should get one, you know, otherwise you won't automatically get each other's money."

That's the sensible reason, the one that's easy to dismiss, but there are other reasons. What if you shuffle off unexpectedly, without a will, and the administrator of your estate decides to open your house to all comers because "that's what she would have wanted" – how do you stop that certain magpie friend from stripping all the best stuff from your wardrobe after the wake? How do you ensure that the dog doesn't get shunted off to the SSPCA by some efficient but heartless relative?

You'll be dead, of course, so beyond turning the room deathly cold to show your disapproval, there won't be much you can do. If you've made a will, however, you can throw your weight around from beyond the grave.

There's no better time to do it than right now because November is Will Aid month. Will Aid (www.willaid.org.uk) is perfect for anyone who is resisting making a will because of an allergy to giving lawyers money. The idea is that kindly participating law firms waive their fee and you pay it instead to charity. The suggested donation is £90 for a basic will or £135 for a pair of basic mirror wills with the money going to charities including ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC and SCIAF.

After years of foot-dragging, I've just made my first ever will, through WillAid, and do feel better for it. The gutters, though, they can wait.

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Charity

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