Eight out of ten parents in the South West have no legal guardian in place to ensure their children are looked after should they die. This is according to research commissioned by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and RWK Goodman.
In fact, parents in the South West are the least prepared in the whole of the UK. 82% of parents in the South West have not appointed legal guardians for their children, compared to the 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.
Only one-fifth (17% of) parents in the South West understand that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to their children if they 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 for Update Your Will Week 2023, which takes place from 23 to 29 January.
Rebecca Purchase, Senior Associate in Private Client at RWK Goodman and SFE member, explains: “It is 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“Our research shows that over half of the wills in the South West are out of date, and many people in the region don’t have one in the first place.”
The new research commissioned by SFE and carried conducted Censuswide also reveals that:
RWK Goodman recommends 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, 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 as you’d like when you die.