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How to get a will for free

Written by: Emma Lunn
If you're 55 or over, you can have a will written or updated for free this month.

Free Wills Month brings together a group of charities to offer people aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Having an up-to-date will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones after you’ve passed away.

How do I take part?

Free Wills Month is intended for individuals or couples aged 55 and over. If you’re making your will as a couple, only one of you needs to be over 55.

You can visit the Free Wills Month website to find a participating solicitor in your area.

It’s worth noting that the numbers of appointments are limited, so it’s best to book your appointment with your chosen solicitor as soon as you can. Once all available appointments are booked the campaign will close – this may be before the end of October.

This campaign pays for simple wills. If the will is more complex and needs additional work, the solicitor may ask you to pay the balance yourself. It’s best to check this when booking your appointment.

Dying intestate

Around two thirds of people in the UK haven’t made a will, including a third of people aged 55 and over. If you die without a will, your long-term partner and stepchildren will get nothing, while the spouse you separated from years ago could reap the benefits.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Who will you leave your money to? The spouse you left ten years ago? Your parents? The taxman? Prince Charles? Unless you draw up a will, any one of them could be a possibility. Meanwhile your long-term partner, step-children or fiancé could miss out entirely.

“Making a will is the only way to ensure you give money to the people you want to benefit, at the right time, and in the way that suits you best. And because October is Free Wills Month, if you’re aged 55 or over, and have relatively simple arrangements, you could get it sorted without charge.

“Making a will is a vital step, but you shouldn’t stop there. You should also draw up a register of assets to help your family track down everything you own, and set up Lasting Power of Attorney, so someone you trust can make decisions for you if you’re ever unable to do so for yourself.”

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