The law firm Blandy & Blandy and SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) have published research that highlighted that should they die, 70% of parents in the South east have no legal plans in place to make sure their children are looked after.
According to the research, parents in the region are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in their Will. Only two out of ten (18% of) parents in the South East 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 ahead of Update Your Will Week 2023 (23 – 29 January 2023).
Lisa Perry, Associate Solicitor at Blandy & Blandy, explains: “It’s concerning 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 at least every five years.
“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. It’s crucial to keep your Will up to date and to take legal advice when life-changing events happen, like getting divorced or re-married, a death in the family, or having children. Our research shows that four in ten Wills in the South East are out of date, and many people don’t have one in the first place.”
The new research, carried out by Censuswide, also reveals:
- Only 56% of respondents in the South East have updated their Will within the last five years, meaning four out of ten Wills in the region are out of date.
- Half of the respondents in the South East have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their Will.
- One fifth (22%) of respondents in the South East know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a Will.