Make a Will for Will Aid

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Local solicitor, Hastings & Co, Charlotte Street, Ballymoney is urging readers to use their services to write a Will this November.

Instead of charging their usual fees they invite clients to donate the money to Will Aid – a charity scheme designed to get more people to write their Will and to raise funds for popular charities at the same time.

All the money donated is shared by nine of the UK’s best loved charities: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (N. Ireland). The suggested donation is just £95 for a single Will, £150 for a pair of mirror Wills.

According to the latest Will Aid research, approximately 26 million adults (52%) in the UK do not have a Will. In addition, more than 9 million (39%) adults haven’t updated their Will for 10 years or more and so these Wills may no longer be fit for purpose.

The research also shows that those most in need of a Will are the least likely to have one. Almost 70% of cohabiting couples having no Will so that the surviving partner would have no right to inherit, while 52% of people who are separated are also without a Will so that on their death their ex-partner might receive all of their estate under the laws of Intestacy. For parents with dependent children the situation is even more serious, with 56% not having written a Will - leaving their children without financial protection or named guardians to provide a home and care for them into adulthood.

These are just some of the many circumstances in which the rigid set of intestacy rules are unlikely to provide properly for those left behind. Not only can bereaved people be faced with family disputes, long legal battles and financial insecurity, but they may also have to cope with the shock of discovering that their assumptions about their right to inherit are wrong.

For those who need to write their Will, a solicitor is the safest and most secure choice. Readers can be assured that the solicitor is a qualified professional and there is proper redress available if anything goes wrong. The importance of this was highlighted last week when the Legal Ombudsman[2] drew attention to the fact that the 180,000 people each year whose Wills are written by non-lawyers do not have the protection of their complaint handling service. They called on the government to remedy this situation by widening their remit[3].

Now readers have the chance to put their affairs in order and help some much loved charities at the same time. But they need to act fast to book their appointments, because this offer is only available for the month of November and solicitors are filling their appointments very quickly. People wanting to take advantage of this offer should make an appointment now with a local Will Aid solicitor. Hastings & Co, Mr S Hastings, 028 276 62277, 6a Charlotte Street, Ballymoney.

For more information visit www.willaid.org.uk or call the hotline 0300 0300 013.