Money Wellness
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category iconmoney saver
calendar icon05 Mar 2024

Free wills month

Even if you're in debt and don't have  money or possessions to leave after you die, it's still important to have a will. This is because dying without one means there are rules that have to be followed that will dictate what you've left behind should be allocated- and they may not be allocated in the way you wanted. 

Having a will isn't just about financial possessions either. If you have children, you need to make a will so that arrangements for them can be made if either one or both parents die. Unmarried partners and partners who haven't  a civil partnership won't be able to inherit from each other unless there is a will, so the death of one partner could create serious financial problems for the remaining partner. 

Free wills month 

Now would be a good time to take advantage of free wills month; where you can get a simple will written for free.

If you also can't afford to have a will written, it's worth looking into.

In the UK during March and October, free wills month runs, giving you the chance to write a simple will for free. It gives people aged over 55 the chance to have a simple will written or updated by a solicitor for free in exchange for a charitable donation.

The free wills month scheme has been running since 2005 and raises around £15 million of future income for sponsoring charities per campaign. 

Over 20 charities take part each year, including Age UK, Mind, NSPCC, Shelter and British Heart Foundation.

If you use free wills month, you don’t have to leave a donation to charity, although most charities will hope that you do as they rely on legacies for alot of their income.

If you do leave anything, it will be confidential and the charity won’t get a copy of your will. 

Which areas are taking part in March 2024?

Many solicitor firms and charities take part but different areas across the UK take part over different months.

 The following areas are taking part this March: Barry, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Chichester/Worthing, Coventry, Crawley/Horsham, Cwmbran, Darlington, Dundee, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Essex, Fife, Glasgow, Harrogate, Hastings, Hertfordshire, Ipswich, Kent, Kilmarnock, Leeds, Leicestershire, Liverpool, Llandudno, Llanelli, London, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newport, Northamptonshire, Perth, Peterborough, Sheffield, Sunderland, Surrey, Swansea, Wirral and Wolverhampton.

Pop your postcode into the free wills month website to find out which solicitors near you are taking part.

How do I sign up?

Enter your postcode on the free wills month website to find your nearest participating solicitor, and get in touch with them to arrange your appointment. Make sure you mention the free wills month scheme. 

The scheme also includes couples making mirror wills- almost entirely identical wills created by married couples or partners. In this scenario only one of the couple needs to be over 55.

One thing to note is that if it turns out that you have a complex case, you may need to pay the difference.

Once all appointments are booked, the campaign will close.

Are there other ways of getting cheap wills?

It’s worth looking into the below list of options before deciding to pay out money that could be saved for your will:

  • Will Aid is a partnership between solicitors and nine UK charities, which allows you to get a basic will for a voluntary donation.
  • If you're a member of a trade union, you could get your will written for free or for a low cost. 
  • Your employer may offer you a free will as an employee benefit, so you should check with your HR department if you’re not already aware of this.
  • Using a will-writing service is usually cheaper than using a solicitor, but not all will writers are qualified or regulated, so make sure you check whether they’re regulated before going ahead.
  • You can write your will yourself online from as little as £10, but you should only use one of these if yours is going to be simple. If you have more complex circumstances, you might risk making a mistake that could make your will invalid.

 Struggling with debt?

We offer free, impartial debt advice for people struggling with all kinds of debt. 

 

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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