This year’s Will Aid takes place in the month of November. Will you be taking part?
Whether you’re a solicitor or a will writer who has decided to offer their services, or a member of the public who has decided to take advantage of the service, Will Aid is a very worthy cause.
What happens is that people can have their will drawn up by a professional in return for a donation to Will Aid. The amount suggested is £95 for a basic will, or £150 for a pair of basic mirror wills. The money is shared between nine charities – Action Aid, Age UK, the British Red Cross, Christian Aid, the NSPCC, Save the Children, SCIAF, Sightsavers and Trocaire.
Since it was founded in 1988, Will Aid has enabled legal firms to raise more than £17 million for charity. At the same time, the campaign has helped thousands of people write their will meaning that they can avoid the complications of dying intestate.
People can also choose to further benefit charities by leaving them a gift (often called a legacy) in in their will.
This year, the Will Aid campaign hopes to raise more than last year’s total of over £1.1 million.
One of the charities involved in the work – Sightsavers – works in the developing world to save people’s eyesight and promote equal opportunities for people who’re blind or who don’t have good vision.
The charity works with its partners to prevent avoidable blindness and restore vision where it can. If a person’s sight loss isn’t reversibly, the charity works to provide education, training and support so that the person can lead a more independent life.
According to the charity, £95 can provide life-changing operations for 12 people, preventing them from being blinded by trachoma. A gift of £150 could pay for cataract operations for three children, helping them to see the world around them for the first time.
Eighty percent of blindness could be prevented and cured, an amount that adds up to 31 million people. The charity wants to eliminate blinding diseases such as trachoma and river blindness by 2020.
Sightsavers says: The support we receive through Will Aid and charitable wills is an essential part of achieving this – it really does make a life-changing difference.”
Since Will Aid has been going, more than 275,000 people have used the service.
If you would like to have a will drawn up through Will Aid, the Will Aid website lists participating solicitors. You then contact your chosen solicitor directly and make an appointment. He or she will advise you on what you need to consider and will then draft your will. The solicitor will waive his or her usual fee and invite you to make a donation to Will Aid.
If your will is more complex, you and your solicitor can work out a separate fee for the extra work that is outside of the Will Aid arrangement. All the money that is raised is then divided between the nine Will Aid charities listed above.
Find out more about Will Aid at the website, http://www.willaid.org.uk/