At the start of 2016 I made a to-do list (I don’t do resolutions). Getting my husband and my wills drafted was high up the list.
It’s not the most thrilling or pleasant thing to think about, but it’s something that’s really important. It’s especially important when you have children because as well as making financial provision you’re also naming a legal guardian to have responsibility for them in the event that something happens to both of you.
Wills are also very important if you’re not married or in a civil partnership as when a person dies without leaving a valid will their estate is shared out according to certain rules. These are called the rules of intestacy. Only married couples or civil partners (and some other close relatives) can inherit under these rules.
Will Aid month
I made an appointment for November, which is Will Aid month. During this month instead of paying a participating solicitor a fee for a basic will/pair of basic mirror wills, you are invited to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid. The donation supports the work of nine Will Aid charities, which I’ve listed at the end*.
The suggested donation is £95 for a basic will or £150 for a pair of basic mirror wills. To give you an idea of the usual sort of costs, the Co-op charges £150 including VAT for a single will and £234 including VAT for mirror wills.
We gave the suggested donation, so it still cost less than our solicitor’s usual fee and we’d given to charities – win, win.
You can look up participating Will Aid solicitors for 2017 here.
A note on mirror wills
A mirror will is when a husband/wife or partners make almost identical wills often leaving everything to each other if one partner dies. In the event both die together then it goes directly to the children. There are various pros and cons to mirror wills and obviously everyone’s situation is different, so, as always, do your own research!
* ActionAid, AgeUK, the British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, SCIAF, Sightsavers and Trócaire