Research commissioned by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and Harding Evans Solicitors shows 81% of parents in Wales have no legal plans in place to make sure their children are looked after, should the parents die.
According to the research, parents in Wales are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will. Only one in ten parents in Wales (13%) 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 during this Update Your Will Week 2023 (23rd – 29th January).
Hannah Thomas, Associate Solicitor in Harding Evans’ Wills & Probate team, explains:
“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.
“It’s crucial to keep your will up to date and take legal advice when life-changing events happen, like getting re-married or having children. Our research shows that half of the wills in Wales are out of date, and many people don’t have one in the first place.”
The new research commissioned by SFE and carried out by Censuswide also reveals:
- Only 50% of respondents in Wales have updated their will within the last five years, meaning half of the wills in the country are out of date.
- Around a quarter of respondents in Wales (24%) have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will.
- One in ten (12%) of respondents in Wales know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a will.
Harding Evans recommend reviewing and updating your will every five years, or when a major change in your life occurs that impacts you or your loved ones, such as divorce, marriage, a new birth or even death in the family. 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.