Did you know, that three in four parents have no legal guardian in place to care for their children in the event of their deaths?
Our head of Wills, Trusts and Probate, Zoe Fleming is the regional director for Lancashire of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) which has commissioned the startling research.
Data shows that parents are unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will.
Only 13% of North West parents understand that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to your children if you don’t have a will in place.
Update Your Will Week
SFE specialises in advising people on planning for the future and urges people to ensure they engage with Update Your Will Week 2023 (23rd – 29th January).
Zoe says: “It’s alarming how many parents don’t have a will in place or haven’t appointed a legal guardian for their children.
“Godparents don’t count as legal guardians, so to avoid the risk of the courts deciding what happens to your children, you really should make a will and update it every five years.
“It’s crucial to keep your will up to date and take legal advice when life-changing events happen, like getting re-married or having children.
“Our research shows that four in ten wills in the North West are out of date, and many people don’t have one at all.”
The new research also reveals:
- Around half of respondents in the North West (52%) have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will – meaning it is likely to be out of date.
- Over one fifth (22%) of respondents in the North West know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a will.
- One fifth (19%) of respondents in the North West believe it’s possible to update a will by amending the original document and initialing the changes – it is not possible to legally update a will this way!
Get a well-drafted will
Zoe adds: “We recommend reviewing and updating your will every five years, or when a major change in your life occurs that impacts you or your loved ones, such as divorce, marriage, a new birth or even death in the family.
“Having a current and well-drafted will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die.”
We can help
Need our help?
This month we are supporting Derian House, a children’s hospice in Chorley, by donating half of our fees for updating or writing a will.
Contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate Team today on 01772 799 600.
Article by Zoe Fleming