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Law firm Goughs urges parents to action during Update Your Will Week

Wiltshire law firm Goughs is supporting an initiative to encourage mums and dads to check and update their will, after it emerged parents in the South West were the least prepared in the UK to make provisions for their children.

The call comes after research commissioned by Solicitors for the Elderly suggested that eight out of ten parents in the South West have no legal plans to ensure their children are looked after, should the parents die.

Eighty-two per cent of parents in the region have not appointed legal guardians, the research showed, compared with national average of 70 per cent.

According to the research, parents in the region are completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will. Only one-fifth (17 per cent of) parents in the South West 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.

Trish Watkins, senior associate at Goughs, said: “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 new research commissioned by SFE and carried out by Censuswide also reveals:

  • Only 48 per cent of respondents in the South West have updated their will within the last five years, meaning over half of the wills in the region are out of date.
  • Around a third of respondents in the South West (30 per cent) have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will.
  • One in ten respondents in the South West (11 per cent) know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a will.

Solicitors for the Elderly is a national organisation of more than 1,700 lawyers in the UK who support older and vulnerable people. Update Your Will week runs until Sunday (January 29).

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