20 Jan Update Your Will Week 2023
Seven out of ten parents have no legal guardian in place to care for their children in the event of their deaths.
Research commissioned by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and Rollasons Solicitors shows 71% of parents have no legal plans in place to make sure their children are looked after, should the parents die.
According to the research, parents are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will. Only 15% of 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.
SFE, a membership body of over 1,700 UK solicitors specialised in advising people planning for the future, is calling on parents to make sure they have an updated will in place in conjunction with Update Your Will Week 2023 (23rd – 29th January).
“It’s very worrying 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 Our research shows that the East Midlands is the region with the most out of date wills in the whole of the UK. More than half of the wills in the region are out of date, and many people don’t have one in the first place.”
- Only 45% of respondents have updated their will within the last five years, meaning over half of the wills (55%) are out of date.
- Over half of respondents (53%) have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will.
- Nearly one fifth (17%) of respondents know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a will.
Rollasons 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 an up to date, well drafted will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die.