Viewers of ITV’s Downton Abbey cannot have failed to notice the additional stress and difficulties caused by Matthew dying intestate.
Despite the fact that a witnessed letter has subsequently turned up stating his wishes and giving control to Lady Mary, the potential for confusion and family rifts has been ever-present.
Will Aid says if you want to ensure that your own loved ones are left in no doubt as to who should inherit, then you really need to write a proper will as soon as possible.
Two solicitors offices in Leighton have agreed to join Will Aid’s Make a Will Month to raise money for charity and to help local people put their affairs in order.
Franklins Law of Church Square and Giffen Couch & Archer of Bridge Street are offering to draw up wills for during November without charging their normal fee. Instead they are suggesting that the will-maker donates a similar amount to Will Aid.
The suggested donation is £90 for a single will and £135 for mirror wills. The money raised is shared by nine UK charities that carry out life changing work in the UK and around the world, including Age UK, Christian Aid and Save the Children.
Even if you have a will it is important to keep it up to date. Experts suggest that a will is reviewed every five years and updated as and when circumstances change.
People named as executors may have died; beneficiaries may have moved and be very difficult to trace; family circumstances may have changed dramatically. There may have been births, deaths, marriages, separations and divorces, all of which may have an impact on the contents of a will and some of which can affect its validity.
Loved ones also need to know where to find a will when it is needed. Often families are certain that a will was written, but cannot lay their hands on it. When this happens, the estate is distributed as if there were no will. Thanks to Will Aid’s partnership with Certainty, the National Will Register, Will Aid clients can register a will without charge so that it can be located when it is needed.
Shirley Marsland, campaign manager for Will Aid said: “Will Aid offers readers a unique opportunity to get an affordable will with one of our friendly and approachable solicitors.
“They are giving their time without any payment to help you look after your loved ones and to support some very worthwhile causes.
“It’s your chance to properly provide for your nearest and dearest and, at the same time, to help others in need. Over the past 25 years, Will Aid has helped 250,000 people to protect their loved ones with a proper will and the £13.6 million raised in donations as a result has improved beyond measure the lives of thousands of people in the UK and around the world. Making that call to book an appointment could be the most important thing you do this year!”
A full list of participating solicitors can be found at www.willaid.org.uk or by calling the hotline 0300 0300 013.