It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Liz Barrett. Liz had always been a very good friend and support to Papworth W.I. from its very beginnings and was always ready with a friendly greeting and big smile to give us help where it was needed. We will forever be grateful to her for her support of our W.I. over the last 11 years. Liz obtained permission for our W.I. to have a small part of a bed near the library in which we have planted roses in memory of the Members we have lost and we felt it would be fitting that, although Liz was never a member, we would add a rose there in her memory. The rose we are purchasing is called Lovely Lady which is how we all remember Liz.
Beware Sharks! Keyth Rooney, who was our speaker at our May meeting, certainly came with plenty of advice to help us make good decisions with estate planning, wills and Powers of Attorney. Keyth lives locally in Willingham and is an Estate Planning Consultant. He, himself, has had personal experience of dealing with the estates, wills and PoAs for his own family members. His own mother suffered with Alzheimers and we are delighted that his “fees” will be passed on to Alzheimers UK. Despite the negative nature of this kind of planning, Keyth assured us that we would feel a sense of relief when we had put plans in place.
His talk gave us an overview and basic advice and covered the problem of the fact that with rising house values, probate costs have been increasing year on year. He illustrated the differing probate fees depending where properties are located and other factors which can cause fees to escalate.
He encouraged us all to make sure we had up-to-date Wills and gave advice as to who to appoint as Executors. Will writing is unregulated and he related some warnings where fraudsters had stripped assets from an estate and related some stories of contested Wills such as Prince Rogers Wilson whose estate of $100 plus $200 in unpublished music attracted 700 claims and advised us to be like David Bowie who had an excellent Will and probate easily obtained. His talk also covered Inheritance Tax, Sideways inheritance, and ownership of a property, Care Home costs, Gifts made before death, and funeral planning. All serious subjects but Keyth put it over in a very interesting way with excellent slides and examples.
Members have also been asked to vote for the Resolution which they would like the Federation of Women’s Institutes to take forward from the short list of two: Don’t Fear the Smear and Call Against the Decline in Local Bus Services. Both are important issues and it will be interesting to see which gets the top vote. Whichever it may be, I am sure both issues will be progressed further.
Other activities in May included some of our members attending the Centenary Annual Council meeting at which Baroness Foella Benjamin was the speaker and our monthly lunch which was held at the Three Horseshoes in Gravely where members enjoyed chatting as we relaxed over our lunches. Next month we are off to Bourn Golf Course for lunch.