Advice Admin & Legal Free Wills Month October 2020

Free Wills Month October 2020

Many people around the UK take advantage of Free Wills Month to prepare and get peace of mind by writing a will. If you're considering writing your will during one of these months you can find out everything you need to know here.

What is Free Wills Month?

Free wills month, which takes place twice a year in March and October, gives UK charities a chance to offer their supporters the opportunity to write a simple will or update their current will with no cost. This campaign is often run through solicitors who are partnered with the charity.

Who is Free Wills Month for?

The typical Free Wills Month campaign is aimed at a charity’s supporters who are 55 years or older. However with online will writing options also available it’s possible for most people to get a free will during this month.

For those who don’t have a will in place it’s important to ensure your wishes are carried out after you die. If your will hasn’t been updated in the last 5 years it’s recommended by that you consider writing a new will.

How does Free Wills Month Work?

Free Wills Month often requires you to sign up and give your details to whoever is running the campaign. Usually you're required to let them know your name, address and email. They'll then find local solicitors who' are part of the campaign to get in touch and organise a meeting to write your will.

From here it'll depend on the solicitor but you may need to meet face to face or have a phone consultation about your will. If you find a participating online will writer, like Guardian Angel, then you’ll have the ease of writing will in your own time.

Which charities are behind free wills month?

There are hundreds charities across the UK that take part in Free Wills Month. Most charities in the UK depend on legacy giving, gifts left to them by supporters in their will, for up to half of their income - so it's very important.

In addition to this, most UK charities have information about how to leave them a gift in your will displayed on their website.

Why do the charities participate? Is there a catch?

For charities free wills month is a chance to help raise awareness about leaving money to them in your will. They have the opportunity to talk about how legacies help them and keep their supporters up to date. The campaigns are often funded by charities as part of their fundraising efforts.

Many charities will have a Gifts in Wills page on their website that lets you know about their campaigns and how to include them in your will. This information should be available all year round.

What is a gift in a will?

It’s becoming increasingly common for people to leave money to charity in their will. Often people do this because they’ve been a long term supporter of the charity, or benefitted from them in the past. There are also inheritance tax benefits to leaving a gift to charity in your will.

What type of gift can I leave?

There are two main types of gifts that can be left to charity; a residuary gift and a pecuniary gift.

  • Residuary gifts are when you leave a charity share of your estate (for example 1%)
  • Pecuniary gifts are monetary gifts (like leaving £500)

During Free Wills Month, if you're writing a will with a lawyer you may be prompted to leave a gift to charity. It’s completely up to you whether you leave a gift or not. It’s always possible to update your will in the future if your wishes change (although this may be easier if you’ve written your will online!).

Not sure if you need to update your will? Read this.

Why do solicitors offer free wills? Is there a catch?

This is an interesting question - what's in it for the lawyers and solicitors who end up writing your will? The 3 reasons a solicitor may be interested are:

  • Raising awareness: many people across the UK do not have a will (almost 50% of UK adults need one in place).

  • Help people who can’t afford a will: wills written by solicitors are expensive (online wills have somewhat changed this as they are much cheaper and more accessible!). This is a chance for solicitors to give something back to their local community and help those in need.

  • Raise money for charity: As mentioned above, Free Wills Month is a chance for charities to raise awareness about their legacy fundraising. Solicitors may also align with helping the charity do this.

What happens during a solicitor appointment during free wills month?

A solicitor will take the details and information they need to draft your will. This may be via a face to face appointment or in some cases could be over the phone.

They will likely prompt you to leave money to the charity that is running the campaign - which is of course optional.

The key thing to be aware of is that solicitors will also make you aware of their other services, like a lasting power of attorney or a more complex will. These services may have a cost associated with them so be sure to ask and clarify.

Where are Free Wills Month solicitors located?

This will depend on the specific charity and solicitors involved in the campaign. If a charity runs a free online will campaign then you will be able to write your will from whereever suits. Most major UK cities are covered.

When is the next Free Wills Month?

The next Free Wills Month campaign is coming up in October 2020. For this month those of you who are over 55 will be able to take advantage of the offer.

Starting on October the 1st - look out for will writers that are participating. Please note if you're using a solicitor they may only have a limited number of spaces. For this reason it can be better to consider writing your will online.

If I’m not eligible for free wills month what can I do?

If you’re under 55 you might want to consider writing your will online. This is a cheaper and more accessible option. Some charities even run free online will campaigns.

Our online will makes it quicker and easier than ever to write your will and future proof your wishes.

Writing a will for free and other FAQs

Do I need a will?

Many don’t think we need a will in place, but there are numerous reasons to get your will in place. A will ensures your wishes are carried out the way you’d like them to be. Please read our guide on what might happen if you die without a will.

Want to know how prepared you are for death? Try Bow to find out and get your will for free.

Do I qualify?

Free Wills Month is only for those aged 55+. If you are looking for a less expensive option to using a solicitor why not try writing your will online. It’s free to get started.

How can I take part?

If you want to take part in Free Wills Month you'll need to go through a participating charity.

Want to write your will for free with Guardian Angel? Get a free online will by using Bow - our tool for tying up life's loose ends.

How else can I get a free or cheap will?

Online will writing is the best option for various reasons, we've written a full guide on cheap and free will writing.