Free Wills Month – QualitySolicitors and Barnardo’s Partnership
October is Free Wills Month. QualitySolicitors (QS) has been Barnardo’s exclusive Gift in Will provider since 2010, and since then we’ve seen over 3,500 people pledge £17.2 million to Barnardo’s through legacy donations, which is amazing!
What started as the launch of ‘Barnardo’s Will Week’ in 2010 has now grown into Will Month – twice a year, in March and October. Money pledged supports Barnardo’s mission to protect, support and nurture the UK’s most vulnerable children. They help hundreds of thousands of children, young people, parents, and carers via around 800 services across the UK. And your support is a big part of helping them do what they do.
It may or may not come as a surprise to you that as many as 60% of adults in the UK do not have a Will. This not only leaves people’s estates at risk and creates greater inheritance tax liabilities, but it can also cause a huge headache for grieving loved ones.
As solicitors, you already know the vast benefits people can gain from having a professionally drafted Will. During the months of March and October in particular, QS make a real point of shouting about these benefits and encouraging those over 55 years of age to get a Will and take part in the Barnardo’s Will Scheme in the process.
Nearly half of the money Barnardo’s receives comes from gifts people leave in their Wills. Without these gifts much of the vital work they do to care for vulnerable children, young people and families would not be possible.
Why Make a Will?
An IRN Wills and Probate Research Report from 2020  , found that fewer than 4 in 10 adults in the UK have made a Will.
Nobody knows what is around the corner, and a Will is the best way to protect your family and make sure your wishes are followed. When somebody dies without a Will their assets are shared according to the rules of intestacy. These rules can mean that those who you might have wanted to benefit from your Will receive nothing. For example, unmarried partners who are not in a civil partnership have no right to inherit under intestacy.
Your family may also have to pay extra Inheritance Tax if you have not planned your Will with a legal expert in advance. If children under 18 lose their parents and there is no Will in place the court appoints a guardian to look after them. The guardian may not be the person the parents would have chosen, so making a Will is especially important if you have young children.
- Children who’ve experienced the trauma of sexual abuse and exploitation
- Young people in care as well as when they leave the care system
- Children who are caring for a loved one
- Families experiencing domestic abuse, mental health problems, prison sentences, asylum seeking or other vulnerable situations by providing specialist support
- Young people by amplifying their voice to influence Government on the issues that affect their lives
The scale of what Barnardo’s does may be big and complex, but their aim is simple – to provide the best outcome for every child, no matter who they are or what they have been through.
Legacy Gifts in Action
Can provide a motorised chair for a disabled child
Can pay for basic furniture for a young person setting up in their first new shared accommodation
Can pay for 10 prevention education workshops in schools, to educate young people on how to stay safe
Can pay for a 100 young people to attend CV training, helping them get a job
Can provide a young carer 10 months of one-to one homework support
Can pay for 10 young people to go on a Retail Skills Course which helps them on their path towards employment
To find out more about the Free Wills Scheme, click here.