Last month, our Private Client department was busy drawing up free Wills in support of Will Aid, a national fundraising campaign run by nine of the UK’s top charities. Will Aid ran throughout November and saw Solicitors from up and down the country draw up Wills free of charge in the hope that the Will-maker would donate to the charity.
We helped lots of people to draw up a Will for free last month and urge other solicitors to take part next year to help raise money for the charities involved: Action Aid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF and Trocaire.
The Will Aid campaign has raised more than £9M in donations since it was launched in 1988 so is a great cause to be involved with. It’s not compulsory for the Will-maker to donate, but the suggested donations are: £85 for a single Will, £125 for a pair of Wills, £40 for a codicil to an existing Will.
The campaign also helps to raise awareness of the importance of having a Will in place. It is legal to write your own, however a professional Will gives you the peace of mind that everything is done correctly and your wishes will be carried out exactly as you planned.
We decided to get involved with Will Aid for two reasons. The first was to raise funds for some very worthy causes. The second was to encourage more people to ensure their Will was drawn up correctly and encourage people to come to a professional practice instead of opting for a cheap, online service.
Whilst signing up for a cheap Will online may seem like a good idea at the outset, it’s perhaps not the best option in the long term. Once you sign up for a cheap online Will, you are tied to that company to execute your Will and deal with your estate upon death. What most people don’t realise, is that this company will typically take a percentage of the estate equating to double, sometimes triple, what a decent solicitor would charge.
By drawing up a Will with a solicitor you trust, you can also protect assets upon death so they are not assessable should your partner go into care.
If you have any questions about drawing up a Will or would like to make an appointment with the Gosschalks Private Client team, please call Steve Walker on 01482 324252. Alternatively you could visit the Will Aid page on the Gosschalks website.