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16 September 2014

Will you make a will?

Will you make a will?

A recent survey has exposed that animal lovers are more likely to have made provision for their pets in the event of their death than parents have for their children. 

The survey showed that 15 per cent of pet owners have made arrangements, but only 11 per cent of parents have named legal guardians for their children in a will. It also revealed that 66 per cent of adults, as many as 5 million parents, with at least one dependent child have not even made a will.

"People really need to consider the consequences of not making a will, especially parents," said Alison Linwood, legacy marketing manager at Christian Aid. "Just over half of all adults have not made a will and this number rises dramatically when we look at the number of parents with dependent children, who have yet to legally define who should look after them in the event of their death. Such a situation can cause all kinds of problems at a very difficult time when the children need reassurance and stability. Even of those parents who have made a will, just over 20 per cent have not named legal guardians."

Christian Aid is one of nine participating charities taking part in the Will Aid scheme which raises vital funds to help people across the UK and developing world build their communities and improve their futures.

This year the scheme is being supported by The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, who is encouraging the public to make a basic will through participating solicitors across the UK during the month of November. 

He said: "We spend our lifetime nurturing our family, and it is important to put our affairs in order so that we can ensure that our loved ones will be cared for after our passing. This is an act of Christian stewardship – our final gifts, reflections of a lifetime of love. While doing so we can also choose to include gifts to our favourite causes.!

A £95 donation from a single will could pay for five floating gardens in Bangladesh, meaning families can feed themselves and earn and income. For£150, training for one malaria control agent and five insecticide-treated mosquito nets can be obtained, helping to save many lives in Zambia.

Those wishing to participate can find a local solicitor by visiting the website here. The Will Aid website contains a will planner and explains some of the legal terminology. The solicitor will offer advice on how to word a basic will and will draw up the documents, which then need to be signed in the presence of two witnesses.

Will Aid clients can also register their will for free with the Certainty National Wills Register to ensure easy access for families when required.

The Bishop, himself a father, said: "Will Aid provides an excellent opportunity for all of us to make, or update, our wills. So many people fail to make a Will, leaving behind additional distress for families in what will already be sad times. We should grasp the opportunity that Will Aid provides, and take this simple, loving step."