What do Iain Glen, Dame Judi Dench, Graham Norton and Robert Peston have in common?

They are all ambassadors for Will Aid, which is this month celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Saturday, 17th November 2018, 9:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th November 2018, 9:59 pm
Game of Thrones star Iain Glen may have recovered from deadly greyscale in the epic drama but he's asking his fellow Scots to "own up to the inevitable" and make a will. (Picture courtesy of Sky)

Here we find out why the stars are happy to give their backing to the fundraiser, staged every November since 1988.

The charity will-writing scheme is designed to reinforce the need for everyone to have a professionally drawn-up will, while raising vital funds for nine charities...

Game of Thrones star Iain Glen has urged his fellow Scots to “own up to the inevitable” and make a will.

Carpe Diem is Dame Judi Dench's motto and she's asking our readers to do just that, seize the day and make a will this November during Will Aid.

The multi-award-winning film, television and stage actor spoke out as he became patron of Will Aid in its 30th anniversary year.

Iain, whose Game of Thrones character Jorah Mormont recovered from deadly greyscale, said: “Cheating death is only an option in fiction.

“Making a will is really about owning up to the inevitable. We organise ourselves in life and so we should in death by clarifying our final wishes.

“I urge people to make an appointment with their local solicitor as soon as they possibly can.

Two life-changing events made popular chat show host Graham Norton realise that life is short and death very, very final which is why he is supporting Will Aid.

“I found making a will a happy, comforting and cathartic experience, knowing that you will be providing for and making things that much easier for your loved ones.”

Iain played the villain in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and is also known for his multi-award-winning performances as Larry Winters in Silent Scream and Sir Richard Carlisle in Downtown Abbey.

He added: “Making a will with Will Aid brings you peace of mind while offering a sweet parting gift to the UK’s most treasured charities.”

Fellow patron Dame Judi Dench said: “I am a firm believer in living in the moment which explains why, at age 81, I decided to have Carpe Diem tattooed on my wrist.

Personal tragedy...Robert Peston lost his wife Sian far too soon and it made the journalist realise just how important it is to have a will to guide loved ones who are left behind.

“Seize the day is my motto but every so often the real essence of it is brought home in the most painful way. Most recently this involved the death of my brother, Peter, who was my inspiration.

“Death is always devastating but it is also inevitable.

“Making a will is a way to confront this certainty in the knowledge that, by completing the paperwork, you will be making the experience less traumatic for your loved ones.

“It is difficult to cope with grief, let alone financial insecurity. A will is, therefore, a gift you can leave for those you love.

“If you choose to make your will with a Will Aid solicitor you will also be leaving a loving gift to the thousands of children, families and communities around the world helped by Will Aid.

“When it comes to making a will, my advice is simple: Carpe Diem.”

Popular talk show host Graham Norton, who is also a Will Aid patron, knows only too well that life is short, thanks to two life-changing events.

He said: “I have come face to face with death on two occasions in my life.

“On the first, my own life was threatened after I was stabbed during a mugging in Queen’s Park and lost nearly half my blood.

“The second involved the loss of my father Billy who died shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

“Both made me realise that life is too short.

“And both made me accept that death is very, very final. There are no come-backs, revivals or retaliations.

“A will is therefore a vital document that allows you to pass on your final wishes to the people you love most.

“It is also the only way to ensure those people are provided for.

“Making a will with Will Aid means peace of mind.

“You never know what is around the corner and drawing up this simple document allows you to continue living each day to the full, without worrying about what happens after the thunderbolt.”

Journalist Robert Peston supports Will Aid for very personal reasons.

He explained: “When my late wife Siân Busby and I wrote our wills in our early 40s, we assumed this was boring insurance for an event that would never happen.

“Only ten years later, Siân died after a horrible illness and it fell to me to sort out her affairs.

“Devastated by grief, not really thinking straight, I was so grateful that she had written down what she wanted to do with her money and possessions, and had given clear instructions about what should be done with her ashes.

“Even as a spouse who would have inherited everything under the law, it was so much easier and less stressful to do what she had chosen, rather than deploying my own judgement – especially since I was in shock from her death and would be for many months.

“Again, when my dad died a few years later, I was acutely conscious of what a boon it was to have his voice guiding us to do what he wanted via the will.

“I had seen at first hand a close family member trying to sort out the affairs of a father who had died intestate and was horrified by how messy and time-consuming that had been.

“Although the act of writing a will can be upsetting, the pain for your family if you have not written one is likely to be far worse.”

To find out more about Will Aid or to sign up, visit www.willaid.org.uk.