The charity Will writing scheme Will Aid is a special partnership between the legal profession and nine of the UK’s best-loved charities.

Every November, participating solicitors waive their fee for writing a basic Will. Instead, they invite clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid – it is suggested £100 for a single basic Will and £180 for a pair of basic ‘mirror’ Wills.

With Will Aid, everyone benefits. You get a professionally drawn-up Will and peace of mind, while the charities receive much-needed donations for their vital work.

HeraldScotland:

How to take part

Any time from September onwards, go to the online postcode search or call on 0300 0300 013 for details of a solicitor near you. Then you need to contact them direct to make an appointment in November. Appointments do get filled quickly so be sure to book early. Go online at willaid.org.uk

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‘Without a will, a dreadful situation could have been a lot worse’

Creating a will can make a tragedy a little easier to bear, helping loved-ones ‘navigate the darkest of days’.

Making a will is something many people put off, but a will can bring peace of mind to your family when they most need it, laying out your wishes and taking the uncertainty out of an already difficult situation.

Wendy Martin’s husband Mike died of a heart attack while on a business trip to Spain, leaving her grappling with her own grief and that of their two young children.

HeraldScotland:

“Will Aid seemed like the perfect solution – a way to make a Will with the guidance of a professional and support nine fantastic charities at the same time. And meet a local firm I could go back to for future legal advice.” Wendy Martin

However, Mike and Wendy had taken advantage of the Will Aid campaign in 2016 and made mirror wills, detailing exactly what would happen in the event of their death.

Wendy said having her husband’s last wishes on paper helped the family through the trauma.

“When Mike wrote his will, he made his wishes quite clear,” she said.

“Knowing what he would have wanted was reassuring and helped us navigate some of the darkest of days preparing for his funeral.

“What it also meant was that with a will and life insurance policies in place, we had financial security.”

She added not knowing what Mike would have wanted could have added extra stress at an already challenging time for the family.

“Without a will, a dreadful situation could have been a lot worse,” she said.

“I was able to quickly reassure them that while their lives had changed forever, their anchor points would stay consistent.

“I’m grateful that a will could allow us this reassurance.”

The financial stability granted by Mike’s will gave Wendy the freedom to quit her job and spend time with her children, giving them the space to grieve properly.

She said: “Because we had talked about death and prepared for death, I didn’t have to manage the practical problems that can come with death along with the emotional upheaval.”

This year’s Will Aid campaign takes place during November, where solicitors from across the UK waive their usual fee and instead ask for a donation to the cause.

In Scotland, 107 solicitors are taking part in this year’s campaign, making it even easier to book an appointment near you.

Money raised by the campaign will go to nine UK charities - ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Participating solicitors ask only for a suggested donation of £100 for a will or £180 for a pair of mirror wills.

If you are interested in creating a will through Will Aid, you can find your nearest participating solicitor today and book an appointment here: https://lookup.willaid.org.uk

For more information visit www.willaid.org.uk

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SCIAF

Our kindness is an incredible gift. It inspires us to reach out to those in need and encourages us to make a difference. With kindness, we can change the world.

HeraldScotland:

Gifts in wills fund almost a quarter of our work. SCIAF works to serve the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world, irrespective of their race, religion and background. A gift in your will is a very special and personal way to help lift people out of poverty and to build healthy and happy futures.

One SCIAF supporter told us: “Obviously there are big moments in your life when writing a will makes sense and when my wife and I recently moved house we updated our will. While buying the house, I couldn’t help but think of those around the world who have had to flee from their homes in times of crisis and war. That’s why we left a gift in our will to SCIAF.”

Through the gifts you share and the values you pass on there is a new beginning. New life. New hope.

HeraldScotland:

Far from being a full stop at the end of your life, writing a will ensures that your kindness lives on, reaching out to those in need. If you are able to, even a small percentage of your estate or a fixed amount can make a world of difference.

To find out more about leaving a gift in your will visit www.sciaf.org.uk/legacy or call us on 0141 354 555 for any questions you may have.

Website www.sciaf.org.uk  

Twitter: twitter.com/sciaf

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SCIAF/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sciaf_insta/

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Millen Solicitors

The firm of Millen Solicitors in Glasgow is aiming to raise vital funds for nine of the UK’s best loved charities, after signing up for Will Aid, the annual charity Will-writing campaign. Millen Solicitors has signed up to the scheme, which runs throughout November– for the 11th year in a row. Millen Solicitors is a small firm, offering bespoke expert advice in areas of family law, wills and estates, powers of attorney and guardianship orders.

The firm, whose motto is “Family Solicitors for Generations” has raised £4970 for the nine charities involved since it joined the scheme in 2010, and already, the level of enquiries has the team optimistic of a huge increase in donations.

HeraldScotland:

The firm’s founder, Julie Millen said: “We are very excited to be involved again in the Will Aid campaign this year.  Having supported the campaign since our firm was established in 2010, this year looks to be one of our busiest yet.

“It gives us an excellent opportunity to reach people in our community who do not have a Will or need their Will updating, to help them protect their loved ones for the future.

“It also means we can continue to raise funds for nine incredible charities which make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of vulnerable people both here in the UK and around the world.”

The Will Aid scheme takes place across the country throughout the month of November and supports ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (N. Ireland).

HeraldScotland:

Participating solicitors have raised more than £21 million for the Will Aid charities since it launched 32 years ago.

Campaign director Peter de Vena Franks said: “One in three people in the UK die without making a Will, leaving confusion and chaos behind along with the sadness of losing a loved one. Will Aid encourages people to prepare this vital piece of paperwork, while at the same time making a difference by raising money for charity.”

“We are thrilled that Millen Solicitors has joined this year’s campaign. They have contributed a great deal to our fundraising efforts in the past and I know they will continue to work with us in future.

The suggested voluntary donation for a basic Will is £100 for a single Will and £180 for a pair of basic mirror Wills. Donations support the vital work of the nine partner charities.

www.millensolicitors.co.uk