Last week the Legal Ombudsman drew attention to the fact that their current remit does not Wills written by non-lawyers and called upon the government to open its services to the 180,000 or so people whose Wills are written by non-lawyers every year, and are currently exempt from the complaints handling body .
This timely information should alert the public to the fact that solicitors are the best and most secure choice when writing a Will. Many people are currently in need of a Will and they deserve to be able to use the best providers and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their wishes will be carried out by a qualified professional and that there is proper and adequate redress available should things go wrong.
Fortunately Will Aid runs throughout the month of November and gives people the opportunity to have a solicitor-drafted Will in exchange for a voluntary donation to charity. To date, Will Aid has persuaded more than 275,000 people to write their Will and in so doing raised over £15 million in donations.
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.
Those most in need of a Will are the least likely to have one:
• 56% of parents with dependent children have not written a Will and so have not provided financially for their children nor have they named guardians to provide a home and care for these children into adulthood.
• 52% of people who describe themselves as separated do not have a Will. If these people die without a Will, their estate is treated as if they were married. This could mean an ex-partner receiving some or all of the deceased’s estate.
• Almost 70% of cohabiting couples have no Will. This means that on death, the surviving partner would have no automatic right to inherit.
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.
Now people have the chance to put their affairs in order and help some much loved charities at the same time. Participating solicitors tend to fill their appointments for November very quickly, so it is important to act quickly. For more information and to find a convenient participating solicitor VISIT or call the hotline 0300 0300 013.
The situation is similar in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The survey was conducted by Lightspeed Research by email with a nationally representative sample of 2250 adult respondents, between 25 and 84 years old, 47% male and 53% female, in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Lightspeed Research is one of the world’s leading online research providers. The research was carried out during July 2014.