Around 1,400 generous Will Aid solicitors all over the UK are offering people the opportunity to protect their children’s future and give to charity at the same time.
During November, they will draw up basic Wills without charging their normal fee. Instead they invite the Will-maker to make a donation to Will Aid. The suggested minimum donation is £85 for a single Will and £125 for a pair of matching or “mirror” Wills or £40 for a change to an existing Will (codicil).
All the money donated is shared between the nine participating charities [ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, SCIAF (Scotland), Sightsavers and Trocaire (N.Ireland)], that carry out life changing work here in the UK and around the world.
There are many people who, for one reason or another, can be left vulnerable if someone dies without a Will. Children, especially younger dependent children, are particularly at risk. But the 2011 Will Aid poll into Wills and inheritance reveals that over half of all adults do not have a Will and worse still, only 32% of respondents with dependent children have a Will.
No one wants to consider the possibility that they might not survive to see their children grow to adulthood, but as a parent, making a Will is the responsible action to take.
By making a Will, you can:
1: Indicate who you think should care for the children in the event of your death and the Courts will take your views into consideration.
2: Nominate guardians for the children in case both parents die at the same time. The guardianship should be reviewed from time to time to ensure that the named individuals are still suitable. For example, if grandparents are named they may become unwell or simply too elderly to care for the children.
3: Provide financially for your children and also decide at what age they can inherit. Children cannot inherit until the age of sixteen in Scotland and eighteen in the rest of the UK.
Any parent who has remarried when widowed or divorced should make specific provision for their children. If not, assets will pass to the new spouse and the children may receive nothing. Stepchildren can also lose out if there is no Will and they have not been formally adopted.
When someone dies without a Will, the resulting problems can usually be sorted out eventually but after a great deal of stress and expense. The outcome is rarely as good as the deceased would have wished for. So protect your children and write a Will with Will Aid this November. Participating solicitors can be found at www.willaid.org.uk or by calling the hotline 0300 0300 013.