Will writing charity plea to borough solicitors

Published on: Wednesday, 18th September 2019

The charity will-writing campaign Will Aid is calling on solicitors in Derbyshire to join the effort to encourage more of us to prepare a will.

Will Aid has been running for thirty one years and inspired more than 300,000 people to write their wills whilst raising in excess of £20 million for its charities.

But more help is needed in Derbyshire this year and that’s why campaign director Peter de Vena Franks is calling on more of the county’s solicitors to get involved:

"We’re grateful for the massive support we get from lawyers and law firms every year, but are short of numbers in parts of Derbyshire this time,” says Peter.

“There are currently practices in Alfreton, Ashbourne and Chesterfield offering Will Aid, but other towns such as Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Swadlincote, Belper and Derby itself are not served at all.

"That’s why I'm issuing a clarion call to local solicitors to volunteer some of their will-writing time in November and join us in spreading  the word about the importance of preparing that vital document.

“The more legal firms that are able to join us, the more will-writing appointments we'll be able to offer locally.”

Will Aid is recognised as the UK's most successful charity will-writing scheme.  The concept is simple - during November each year, will-writing solicitors volunteer their time and expertise without charge to write basic wills with clients invited to make a voluntary donation to the Will Aid charities instead of paying the solicitor.

“None of us want to think about death,” says Peter. “But Will Aid - with its twist of solicitors waiving their fees and clients instead making a donation to charities can provide the nudge we need to get us thinking about preparing or updating our wills.”

Recent research revealed that around half of adults in the UK still don’t have a will. In the East Midlands it was 44%.

Peter believes the sudden passing of a number of high profile celebrities at relatively young ages has caused more of us to think about being prepared should the worst happen.

The DJ Avicii was just 28 when he died last year, Amy Winehouse was 27 when she passed and Prince, 57 - none of them had prepared a will, nor had soul-queen Aretha Franklin.

“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of being prepared and potentially saving your family and friends the additional heartache and sometimes bitter family arguments that can follow when someone dies unexpectedly without leaving a will,” added Peter.

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

If you wish to arrange a Will Aid appointment or are a solicitor keen to join the campaign, please go to willaid.org.uk or call 0300 0309 558.  Space is limited so you are advised book early.

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

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