By Paul Lewis
More than half the adults in the UK do not have a will. According to rules laid down in law, if you die unexpectedly your property, your home and your possessions are divided up among your relatives.
That may not be how you want your things shared out and could mean there is more inheritance tax to pay than if you had decided in advance who would get your possessions after your death.
In rare cases where there are no relatives and no will, the whole estate can go to the Crown. If you do not have a will you can get one drawn up in November – Will Aid month – without it costing too much.
You can make a will in exchange for a donation to charity. More than a thousand solicitors are taking part throughout the UK and they will draw you up a straightforward will without charging their usual fee, which can be hundreds of pounds.
Although the solicitors work for free, Will Aid suggests you make a donation to the campaign of £95 for a simple will or £150 for a pair of wills for a couple. The amount you give is up to you – it can be less or more than these amounts.
All the money goes to the nine charities that Will A id supports, including Sightsavers, Save the Children, and British Red Cross. Last year Will Aid raised more than £1m in total for them.
Will Aid is a good alternative to using a will writing service or doing it yourself with a form you download.
Your will is drawn up professionally by a solicitor but at a lower price than they would charge normally.
Although will writing services can be good – especially if they belong to one of the recognised trade bodies – they generally do not use trained solicitors and do not give the same protection if anything goes wrong.
There is more information on the Will Aid website willaid.org.uk, where you can find a local solicitor who is taking part in the scheme by entering your name and postcode. Will Aid will not pass those details on to anyone else. It is good to arrange it as soon as you can because solicitors can get booked up.
Right now arrange both Lasting Powers of Attorney for £495* + get a FREE Will with Key Retirement
1 x Property and Financial Affairs LPA
1 x Health and Welfare LPA
1 x new Will or review and update of an existing Will**
Hurry, offer ends 30th November 2017
Call 0808 208 5405
*Price inc VAT. Excludes Court of Protection registration fee. Telephone based service.
**Adding or changing Trusts will incur an additional fee.