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Parents risk leaving children ‘homeless’ by not naming guardians in will

6 October 2014 - What is the first thing you think about when making a Will?  Who to leave your money to?  But, if you are a parent with a dependent child one very important question a Will should address is ‘who will look after your children should both parents pass away?’

A recent survey has revealed that many parents seem to be burying their head in the sand as more than half (56 per cent), with at least one dependent child, admit they have not even made a Will.

Of those who have made a Will, 23 per cent have failed to name a guardian for their children or take into consideration where they would live in the event of their death.
“People really need to consider the consequences of not making a Will, especially parents,” said Alison Linwood Legacy marketing manager at Christian Aid.  “Just over half of all adults have not made provisions in the event of their death and this number rises dramatically when we look at the number of parents with dependent children who have yet to legally define who should look after them in the event of their death.  Such a situation can cause all kinds of problems at a very difficult time when what the children will need is reassurance and stability.”

Christian Aid is one of nine participating charities taking part in the Will Aid scheme (the scheme also includes ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF and Trocaire) which raises vital funds to help people across the UK and developing world build their communities and improve their futures.

This year, the scheme is being supported by The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, who is encouraging the public to make a basic Will through participating solicitors across the UK, during the month of November.  The suggested voluntary donation is £95 for a single basic Will and £150 for a pair of mirror Wills. The donation income is shared amongst the Will Aid charities, including Christian Aid.

Using the scheme is simple.  Find a participating local solicitor by visiting www.willaid.org.uk then contact them directly to make an appointment.  The Will Aid website contains a handy Will planner and explains some of the legal terminology.
The solicitor will offer advice on how to word a basic Will and will draw up the documents, which then need to be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
Will Aid clients can also register their Will for free with the Certainty National Wills Register (this usually costs £30 plus VAT per Will) to ensure easy access for families when required.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, himself a father said: “We spend our lifetime nurturing our family, and it is important to put our affairs in order so that we can ensure that our loved ones will be cared for after our passing.  This is an act of Christian stewardship – our final gifts, reflections of a lifetime of love. 

“Will Aid provides an excellent opportunity for all of us to make, or update, our Wills.  While doing so we can also choose to include gifts to our favourite causes.

“So many people fail to make a Will, leaving behind additional distress for families in what will already be sad times.  We should grasp the opportunity that Will Aid provides, and take this simple, loving step.”

A typical £95 donation for a single Will could pay for five floating gardens in Bangladesh, meaning families can feed themselves and earn and income.  £150 for a set of mirror Wills could pay for training for one Malaria Control Agent and five insecticide-treated mosquito nets, helping to save many lives in Zambia.


If you would like further information please contact Karen Lobo-Morell on 020 7523 2404 klobomorell@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk


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