UK Will Professionals Helping Anxious NHS Workforce
Medical staff requesting Wills is now twelve times higher than December last year. Fowwoling reports that at least seven NHS workers have lost their lives to Covid-19, workers on the front line are looking to protect their final wishes.
Earlier this week, Today’s Wills and Probate suggested that NHS workers remain anxious about working in close proximity to the virus and are actively ensuring their Will are in place. Farewill has found that new enquiries from NHS employees were around twelve times higher than at the end of last year.
Responding to this fear and demand, Farewill decided to waive their £90 standard fee, offering free Wills to NHS workers and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
By the end of the first week of the offer, over two thousand NHS employees had taken advantage of the offer, highlighting the immediate need to protect their final wishes.
Black Country law firm Talbots Law is also offering front line NHS workers free Wills during April. Their Twitter post read ‘For frontline NHS workers in the Black Country, caring for Covid-19 patients, we are offering to prepare a simple Will free of charge, during April. Call us on 0800 118 1500. No catch, no charge, just Talbots #DoingTheRightThing.’
Myriad other private client departments such as Simpson Millar are also offering single and mirror wills at significantly reduced rates for NHS workers.
Peterborough based firm, Gegarty Solicitors have also decided to donate 10 per cent of all Will instructions taken between April 9 and July 30 to a local their local NHS Trust.
Dan Garrett, Farewill CEO and Co-Founder, said:
“Ever since we started in 2015, we’ve always wanted to make what is a tough and intense topic easier for everyone. We’ve seen demand for our services increase recently and we’ve done everything we can to meet it, taking on around 20 extra staff.
“When we started seeing the volume of enquiries from NHS workers grow so steeply, we all wanted to support them.
“So, to give them peace of mind and make the process as simple as possible in the middle of what must be an incredibly demanding time, they can make a will with us in as little as 15 minutes, for free (saving them £90). People can do it from home, from work – from wherever they like, so long as they have either internet or phone connection.
“Things are challenging for everyone in the NHS at the moment and we hope this gesture, even though it’s a small one in the scheme of things, will go some way towards helping.”
Amy Bywater, an A&E nurse and mother of two young children, who works at the Southmead Hospital in Bristol, commented:
“I’ve thought about making a will in the past but I’ve never got round to it. I wasn’t sure I was in the right age group to be honest. Now, especially working on the front line, it makes you think. You never know what might happen.”
“When I wrote my will with Farewill it only took 15 minutes, and it was much more straightforward than I expected. I think lots of NHS workers will benefit from the offer, and I’ve already started putting the word out in my Facebook groups.”
An anonymous nurse suffering from Covid-19 and working on the NHS front line, commented:
“Making a Will was not directly related to PPE equipment. The department I work on has been well stocked and the local authority and NHS Trust have been extremely responsive to our needs. But more medical staff have become ill and it made me want to prepare so that family knew what would happen to our daughter.
“Now that I have had Covid-19, or at least had an illness that displayed symptoms linked to Covid19, I feel happy that we made the decision to make a Will. My symptoms were fairly mild but I was stuck in bed feeling awful for most of the week.”
Greg Baker, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Hegarty Solicitors, said:
“We believe in supporting our local NHS and recognising the amazing work they do, particularly during the current challenging time.
“For a number of years we have offered a 10% discount on our family law, wills, trusts and probate and conveyancing services fees for NHS, Armed Forces, Police, and Fire Service personnel in recognition of the amazing work they do for our community.
“However, we felt it was important to show our support to our local NHS in as many ways as possible during this difficult time.
“For all will instructions taken with effect from 9th April 2020 until 30th June 2020 we will be supporting the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust and the Leicester Hospitals Charity by donating 10% of our wills fees to help support the local NHS and acknowledge the outstanding service they are delivering to local people.
“If you make a will with us before 30th June, you will be helping to support our vital front line NHS workers. 10% of the cost of making your will, will be donated to either the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust for wills made via our Peterborough and Stamford offices or the Leicester Hospitals Charity for wills made via our Oakham office.”
How has your firm responded to the difficult conditions? Have you launched any schemes helping NHS staff or other key workers?