November marks the Hospice's annual appeal, "Make a Will Month", where several local lawyers donate their time to offer free services to patients and their families living with a life-limiting illness in the Whangarei and greater Northland area.
Hannah Blake, the Hospice's funding and communications manager said this month people have an opportunity to make or update their will for free at several Whangarei law firms, on the proviso that in it you bequest a donation to the North Haven Hospice.
"It is so important to have a legally binding will," she said.
"These ensure that people's last wishes are adhered to and communicated properly."
Ms Blake said bequests are a significant potential area of fundraising. This financial year, the Hospice needs to raise about $1.6 million above and beyond the funding it receives from the Northland District Health Board, and bequests make up part of that.
"The year just gone, we were fortunate enough to get a number of bequests; one of which was a whopping $100,000 from a man called Owen Vercoe who left us the money as a thank-you for the care he had received from us.
"We run 'Make A Will' month to raise the awareness of the importance of having a proper, legal will but also as a fundraiser as the lawyers donate their time so that a donation of their fee can be made to North Haven Hospice instead," she said.
Ms Blake said the hospice is "thrilled to have the support of such a great group of local lawyers", which includes Henderson Reeves Connell Rishworth, John Gilding and Associates, Northlaw, Regent Law, Webb Ross McNab Kilpatrick, Cook Westenra and the Public Trust Office.
She said bequests can be used in two ways - for the operating costs of North Haven and for the Endowment trust, which "enables us to have a secure future as our financial needs increase and if funding were to one day run out from our sources, such as the Northland District Health Board.
"Every dollar is so appreciated and what a legacy to leave!"