Grim Reaper takes his place in class

18th May 2007 at 01:00

Ministers may be obsessed with lifelong learning, but one college has taken things a stage further - teaching people skills which will come in handy after death, writes Joseph Lee.

North East Worcestershire College is pioneering a short course to help people deal with one of life's little inevitabilities.

The one-day session, run by law lecturer Rod York, is intended to help people prepare for their own demise as well as understanding what to do if a loved one passes away. It focuses particularly on making a will.

Mr York said that in between a half and three-quarters of deaths there is no will or it has been incorrectly drawn up.

"It's not a case of if it will happen to you, but when," he said. "But there is a class thing. Professional people are more likely to make wills while the C and D social classes don't, often because they think they've got nothing to leave."

He said the course warns against the DIY will kits available on the high street, which can be inflexible, can mean people miss ways of avoiding heavy tax bills, and are at risk of being filled out incorrectly.

"If you just want to leave everything to your wife, they may be OK, but if you've got children and want to leave them something, it's best to go to a solicitor," he said.

The course will also give details of what to do after someone has died, such as providing death certificates to the right organisations and closing bank accounts.

"It's really for people who think they should sort out their estate, rather than young people who don't have assets or older people who already have wills." But anyone can enrol. As Mr York put it: "We are all going to die."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today