Free Wills Month: What is it, who can participate, and how to get involved | Personal Finance | Finance

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Writing a will is an important financial step people must take to ensure their assets are handed down to the right people after they pass away. Two months of the year, certain people can have theirs written or updated for free.

However, Britons are urged to “be quick”, as there are a limited number of appointments available and these typically fill up fast.

Express.co.uk spoke to Liz Hunter, director at Money Expert to find out more about the scheme and how people can participate.

What is Free Wills Month?

Ms Hunter told Express.co.uk: “Free Wills Month is an event which takes place twice a year, in March and October, to encourage more people to make sure that they have a will in place should the worst happen.”

This event gives anyone aged 55 and over the chance to get their will written or updated for free. According to Ms Hunter, the costs are funded by the charities who take part in the scheme.

She explained: “The three main reasons why solicitors take part in Free Wills Month are to raise awareness about the importance of having a will, to help people who can’t afford it and to promote leaving gifts in wills to charity.

“The charities who take part would be grateful if you remembered them in your will, however, it’s not essential to leave a gift to charity.”

For people in Scotland, Will Relief is an event which runs every September where people will be able to get a free will written by a participating Scottish solicitor.

People are asked to make a donation in their will to Will Relief Scotland, which comprises a group of four Scottish charities; Blythswood Care, EMMS International, MAF and Signpost International.

How does Free Wills Month work?

Those who wish to participate can get in touch with the solicitors taking part and request an appointment.

Ms Hunter said: “You can book an appointment by researching the solicitors firms that are offering free wills as part of the event, and contacting them to book an appointment.

“During this appointment, you’ll be asked a series of questions that will affect how the will is written up including the number of children, what assets you have, and what you’ll be leaving and to whom you’ll be leaving it.

“Following this appointment, the solicitors will draw up your will. However, it’s important to be quick as there are only a limited number of appointments and they tend to fill up fairly quickly.”

However, it’s worth noting that Free Wills Month only covers the writing of ‘simple’ wills.

Ms Hunter explained: “If your will is more complex, or your estate is valued over £325,000, then a fee may apply. But your chosen solicitor will advise you of this ahead of booking your Free Will appointment.”

Is writing a Will important?

Writing is important if people want to decide whose hands their money, property, and other assets land in.

Ms Hunter said: “No one likes to think about not being around for their children but making a will is really important. Especially if you’re a parent, as this ensures that the right arrangements are put in place should the worst happen to either or both parents.”

If someone passes away without a valid or up-to-date will, Ms Hunter said: “Not writing one means that the state will get control over who goes where and what happens to both your children and assets.

“Leaving the local authority or the courts to ultimately make a decision on who should look after your children.

“This can be scary, not only for your children who will already be grieving but for friends and family who may have to watch as the children are taken away.”



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