Frequently asked questions

What is Will Aid?

Will Aid is an annual Will making campaign run collaboratively by nine leading charities, ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF and Trocaire. Will Aid would not be possible without the nationwide support of the legal profession, who generously give their services for free.

How is the money raised by Will Aid spent?

The donations and income from legacies, is spent on the work carried out by the nine charities. Since 1988, more than £15 million has been donated through Will Aid and millions more has been promised in legacies. The donations have been used by the participating charities to improve the lives of children, families, older people and whole communities in the UK and around the world. The income from legacies will help ensure that the vital work of the Will Aid charities continues for future generations.

Why is the suggested donation £95 or £150?

The donation is voluntary and at the discretion of the Will maker. Instead of charging the normal fee for drawing up a basic Will, solicitors invite Will makers to consider donating a similar sum to Will Aid. The suggested donation level reflects the time given by the solicitor, while remaining affordable for all.

If I join the scheme, how much work is involved?

Will Aid is very simple to run – there is no complicated administration and VAT is not applicable as the donation is voluntary. Participating solicitors are free to schedule Will Aid meetings as they wish – either solely within the Will Aid month of November or spread over a longer period. They may also limit the number of Will makers to match their time resources. Just contact the Will Aid office when you have reached the limit of your appointments and we will divert prospective Will makers to other firms.

Where do the Will makers come from?

In the months leading up to Will Aid, we run a publicity campaign to generate enquiries from potential Will makers. We invite the general public to phone a special Hotline, or log onto the Will Aid website to find a local participating solicitor. The potential Will maker is given the details of a solicitor in their area and is invited to contact the solicitor directly to make an appointment.

How do Will makers get in contact with me?

Potential Will makers will contact you directly, either by phone or email.

What if the client has complicated instructions or requires tax planning advice?

The Will Aid scheme is designed to cover the preparation of a basic Will. If the client requires additional services then you are free to negotiate a separate fee for the additional work. All we ask is that you clarify and agree the nature of the additional work and the fees involved with the client, prior to accepting their instructions.

What is a basic Will?

Broadly speaking, a Will for anyone whose assets are below the inheritance tax threshold and/or is simply leaving their assets to a few family and friends or charities would be considered a basic Will Aid Will. If a client requires, for example, any trusts set up or financial or estate-planning advice then this would be considered outside the basic Will Aid Will. You are free to agree a separate charge for this additional work.

Do clients have to leave a legacy to charity?

There is no requirement for Will Aid clients to leave a charitable bequest. However, legacy income is vital for charities. Knowing that funds may become available allows them to plan for the future. Many people do not automatically think of leaving a charitable bequest and so it helps if you could remind your clients of this opportunity. With some clients, it might also be worth asking them to consider taking advantage of Legacy 10 which came into force on 6th April 2012.

Can a client specify which of the Will Aid charities their Will-making donation will go to?

As Will Aid is a partnership of the nine charities who share the costs of running the scheme, they have agreed that all the donations will be divided between them. However, your client can leave a legacy to one or more their favourite Will Aid charities (or indeed any other charity) in their Will.

As a solicitor, I only have a small practice. Can I limit the number of enquiries?

Some firms carry out as many as 150 Will Aid Wills; others do just a few. It is entirely up to you. Once you have received sufficient enquiries, simply call the Will Aid Campaign office and we will stop advertising your firm as part of the promotion. You may, however, receive a few more enquiries from people who have already been given your details and you just need to refer these enquirers back to the Will Aid office.

Do I have to take appointments / make Wills in November?

Solicitors are free to schedule their appointments at their convenience. November is the ‘official’ Will Aid month but if you would prefer to spread out the work you are very welcome to take appointments before or after November.

How do I know if a client has made their donation online?

When a client makes their donation online, as part of the payment process they are asked to indicate the solicitor's firm they have used. Once the payment is completed the system generates an email to the Will Aid contact at your firm confirming the donation and the donors details. The donor is also sent a confirmation email and we ask that they bring this with them to their appointment if they have made their donation prior to meeting you so that you do not need to invite them to donate.

What shall I do if the client is reluctant to make the suggested donation?

The donation has to be at the discretion of the client or it ceases to be a donation and would become a fee liable to VAT.

How do I register my Will for free with Certainty National Will Register?

As a special offer to WillAid clients, you can register your Will with the Certainty National Will Register for free (usual cost is £25 + VAT) as part of a special offer between Will Aid and Certainty.

The Register simply records which solicitor is storing your Will and does not hold a copy of your Will. Details of your Will are only made available to your beneficiaries.