July 6, 2012
Lawyer to prepare wills free of charge for Biabou Fitness Group

Nothing has destroyed more families, created more havoc among surviving family members and generated more bad blood than the absence of a Will in a family where the deceased had some remaining worth.{{more}}

It is in an effort to avoid such disorder and family destruction that Parnell Campbell QC gave a presentation to the members of the Biabou Fitness Group on June 28. He encouraged them to ensure that they make proper preparation for what amounts to being their last life assignment and responsibility, the efficient and tidy passing over of their remaining possessions.

“A Will, by definition,” said Campbell, “is a piece of paper on which is written down the instructions that someone wants carried out with respect to the disposal of their remaining worldly possessions – the things they own when they die.”

The Queen’s Counsel, who also hosts the weekly television programme “The Law and You” gave the group some simple, but pertinent things, to which they need to pay attention. For example, he said, “The Will must be signed by at least two witnesses and the document should be kept secret until the person making it dies.”

He covered things such as who can make a Will; how to choose an Executor – the person entrusted with seeing that the terms of the will are carried out as per the deceased wishes; what goes into a Will and what must be left out; along with whose name can be placed in the Will.

The presentation was clearly very timely and very well received. This was evidenced by the number of times during the presentation that Campbell was stopped by members of the group to answer questions or make clarifications on some aspect of the presentation.

Questions such as, “On what grounds a Will can be contested or challenged? What is a Deed of Gift and how does it differ from a Will? What will happen to a person’s possessions if they do not make a Will? What can the Executor do if the surviving relatives do not want to honour the wishes of the deceased?” Clearly the presentation had struck an urgent and resounding chord with the audience.

Obviously the questions finally got to “How much does a lawyer charge to prepare a Will or a Deed of Gift?” In the case of a Will, Mr Campbell said that could cost around $400 to prepare, while a Deed of Gift is normally charged as a percentage of the property being gifted.

It was at this point that Mr Campbell made a bold offer to the group: “I will do your Wills for free!”

“During the month of August, I will bring my staff out here and I will prepare your Will right here on the spot, free of cost,” the Queen’s Counsel promised.

The group clearly could not have had better news.

Following the presentation, group President Verril King presented Campbell with a token on behalf of the group.

The Biabou Fitness Group is made up of older persons from Biabou and surrounding areas. The group meets at the Learning Resource Centre every Thursday afternoon for keep-fit classes. They celebrated their third anniversary earlier this year. The establishment of the group was initiated by the staff of the Health Promotion Unit.