Bath Business Blog: Trish Watkins, senior associate, Goughs Solicitors. The importance of ‘Update Your Will Week’

January 26, 2023

Did you know that eight of out 10 parents in the South West have no legal guardian in place to care for their children in the event of their deaths?

And did you know that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to your children, should you die without having a will in place? 

Research commissioned by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) shows that a staggering 80% of parents in our region have no legal plans to ensure their children are looked after should they die.

In fact, parents in the South West are the least prepared in the whole of the UK, with 82% not having appointed legal guardians for their children, against a national average of 70%.

According to the research, parents in the region are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will.

Under a fifth (17%) understand that social services or the courts could step in to decide what happens to a children if the parents don’t have a will in place.

Goughs Solicitors are proud to closely support the work of SFE, a membership body of more than 1,700 UK solicitors specialising in advising people on planning for the future.

This year’s Update Your Will Week (23 – 29 January) focusses on aiming at getting the message across to parents that wills are essential. 

It’s shocking 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.

The research commissioned by SFE and carried out by Censuswide also reveals:

Only 48% of respondents in the South West have updated their will within the past five years, meaning over half of the wills in the region are out of date.

Just under a third of respondents in the region (30%) have experienced a life-changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will.

One in 10 know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a will.

If you fit one of these groups then don’t hesitate to book an appointment with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. You never know what is round the corner.

To find out more about wills, click here


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