57% of South East parents have not assigned legal guardians for their children

Parents across the South East are being urged to protect their children’s futures after a survey revealed that 57% of them have not prepared a will in which legal guardians could be assigned.

The research was conducted by the charity will-writing campaign, Will Aid. Its campaign director, Peter De Vena Franks says the figures are concerning:

“2020 has been an unprecedented year which has seen the demand for wills soar in the wake of Covid-19.

“More than half of those questioned in our survey said the pandemic had made them more aware of the need to protect their loved ones should they die unexpectedly, but still huge numbers – 57% in the South East – have not actually done so.

“If you’re a parent and die without leaving a will, it would be left to a court to decide who your child would live with and this might not be the person of your choice.

“That’s why we think it’s an imperative that every parent with children under eighteen should consider making a will.”

During November, many solicitors in the South East and across the UK waive their fees for writing basic wills, instead inviting clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid, with these funds supporting the vital work of its nine partner charities.

“Will Aid will help ensure you are covered, and instead of paying the solicitor, the person instructing the will makes a donation to Will Aid with all donations benefiting its charity partners. It’s win, win and provides the motivation for many people to tick the job off their to-do lists once and for all,” adds Peter.

“Writing a will is quick and relatively easy for most of us and solicitors will guide you through the process.

“Recording our wishes formally in a will makes things far easier for those left behind, and if you still have children under eighteen, secures their future in accordance with your wishes by naming a guardian of your choice.”

More than 310,000 people have made their wills with Will Aid since the charity campaign was first launched in 1988, and in doing so raised more than £21 million.

Last year alone £900,000 was raised for the vital work of its charity partners – ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

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

Will Aid 2020 runs from the 1st to the 30th of November. You can arrange your appointment online at willaid.org.uk by calling 0300 0300 013.

Will Aid solicitors will be following the most up-to-date government health advice to ensure that face-to-face meetings remain safe. Many consultations this year are being carried out by ‘phone or online.