Will Aid’s mission to help Scots protect their loved ones

This November, Will Aid is back with the aim of encouraging Scots who do not yet have a will to get one sorted.

Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 7:30 am
Partner charities....many millions have been raised to help nine of the UK’s best loved charities since Will Aid was launched in 1988 by Scottish solicitors.
Partner charities....many millions have been raised to help nine of the UK’s best loved charities since Will Aid was launched in 1988 by Scottish solicitors.

A poll carried out by the will-writing campaign found that 58 per cent of the population in Scotland did not have paperwork protecting their loved ones in the event of their death.

And the main reason for that was simply not getting round to it.

Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director for Will Aid, said: “It can be very difficult for some people to have conversations about death and dying.

Perfect time...to get your affairs in order is this November, when Will Aid will return. It gives people all over the country a chance to get their will sorted while raising funds for a number of much-loved charities.

“However, with this comes a sense of peace because you are making important decisions that can protect your loved ones when you die.

“The last year has shown us how fragile life can be and the survey has revealed just how much of an impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on people’s mindsets.

“We have all had to learn lessons about how to protect ourselves better – with handwashing, mask-wearing and social distancing. A will is just an extension of that.”

The study showed that coronavirus had prompted more than 55 per cent of Britons to confront the inevitability of death and think about ways to protect their loved ones after they are gone by either writing a will or reviewing their existing will.

Fifteen per cent of those interviewed said they had written a will or made changes to their will this year as a result of the pandemic.

A further 35 per cent said they were actively looking to get a will drawn up this year or make changes to their existing paperwork as a result of Covid-19.

Peter said: “Will Aid provides the perfect opportunity for people to get their paperwork in order.

“Not only does it bring peace of mind, it also directly helps to fund the life-saving work of nine of the UK’s best-loved charities.”

Will Aid runs for the month of November.

Solicitors volunteer their time to charity to write wills for members of the public.

Instead of paying the usual fee for the will, the recipient is asked to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid.

The suggested donation for a basic will is £100 for a single will and £180 for a pair of mirror wills.

Will Aid raises money for nine of the UK’s best-loved charities, namely ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Peter added: “There are still so many people in the UK who do not have a will and this does need to be addressed.

“After all, a will is the best way for a person to make an active choice about inheritance and estates, not to mention make decisions on the guardianship of underage children.”

According to the research, 56 per cent of adults across the UK don’t have a will.

More than half of all parents with children under the age of 18 also have no will which means, in the event of their death, a court would make decisions on the guardianship of their children.

Of those interviewed, twice as many people would make a will as a result of a health scare than they would as a result of having a child.

Those who wish to book an appointment with a solicitor to make a will in November can do so now via the Will Aid website or by calling 0300 0309 558.

Will Aid solicitors will be following the most up-to-date government health advice to ensure that face-to-face meetings remain safe.

Many firms will be able to write wills at a distance via a phone or online.

Some firms will only be offering their services remotely. Participating firms can be contacted directly for more information.

Solicitors from all over Scotland will be taking part but there is still time for more to get involved too.

Last year, 177 firms in Scotland offered their services to the campaign.

To find out more, visit www.willaid.org.uk.

Taking its cue from Live Aid

Spearheaded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to help combat the famine in Ethiopa, Saturday, July 13, 1985, was the music event of the century.

Watched by 1.9 billion people, the global movement also inspired a generation.

And that included a group of Scottish solicitors who, having watched the concerts at Wembley and the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, wanted to do something in a similar vein.

In 1988 Will Aid was launched to do just that.

Sadly, the names of the solicitors who first banded together have been lost in the annals of history.

But their ambition to raise money for charities, to help people both in the UK and abroad, has gone from strength to strength.

In the intervening years, Will Aid has become a UK-wide initiative. The campaign has encouraged more than 310,000 people to write their will with a regulated and insured solicitor and, in so doing, they have raised more than £21 million in donations and many millions more in pledged legacies.

In 2017 alone, Will Aid raised more than £1 million for its charity partners – ActionAid, Age UK, the British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Last year 800 solicitors across the UK took part, 177 of them in Scotland.

According to a Will Aid survey, the main reason for people not having a will in Scotland was them simply not getting round to it (42.86 per cent). There’s no excuse next month!

Will Aid is open to all adults, with a suggested voluntary donation of £100 for a single will and £180 for a pair of mirror wills.

To find a solicitor near you, visit www.willaid.org.uk.