More than half of parents have no will, survey reveals

girl silhouetteMore than half of parents in the UK with children under 18 have made no will, a new survey has revealed.

The study, carried out by Will Aid, revealed that 56 per cent of parents have not prepared this paperwork (up from 54 per cent last year).

And there are regional differences, with parents not making wills at:

  • 79 per cent In Northern Ireland
  • 74 per cent in the north east 
  • 64 per cent in the north west
  • 63 per cent in the south west 
  • 60 per cent in Wales

Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director for Will Aid, said: “Writing a will is a chance for a parent or parents to leave clear instructions about who they would like to care for their child in the event of their death.

“If you die without appointing a guardian, and there is no other parent with parental responsibility, an application would need to be made to the court to decide with whom your child will live, in the event of a dispute about this.

“Preparing a correctly worded will with a solicitor is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out.”

Robert Peston, Will Aid patron, urged everyone to prepare this vital piece of paperwork.

“Although the act of writing a will can be upsetting, the pain and disruption for your family if you have not written one is likely to be far worse,” he said.

“When my late wife Siân Busby and I wrote our wills in our early 40s, we assumed this was boring insurance for an event that would never happen. Only 10 years later, Siân died after a horrible illness, and it fell to me to sort out her affairs.

“Devastated by grief, not really thinking straight, I was so grateful that she had written down what she wanted to do with her money and possessions, and had given clear instructions about what should be done with her ashes.”

Will Aid month

November is Will Aid month, when solicitors waive their fees for will writing services, inviting clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid (£95 for a single will and £150 for a pair of mirror wills). These funds support the work of the nine partner charities.

In 2017, Will Aid raised more than £1 million for the work of its charity partners ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

To make an appointment, go to or call 0300 0309 558.

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