If you haven’t yet written your Will (or need to update it), you can get one done for free in certain locations in England and Wales during March. Find out how…

Writing a Will is important for anyone, but it’s really vital you get one written or updated if you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia. It means that when you or they die, your assets (which includes savings and property) will go to the people or organisations that you want them too. Getting it sorted now will be much easier than when you or they finally lose mental capacity.

In March, it’s free Wills month in England and Wales. This is where people aged 55 or over can get a Will put together for free by a solicitor. The scheme is only available in certain places (scroll down for a full list) but you can find out where by entering your postcode to see if there’s anyone near you.

Sounds too good to be true! What’s the catch?

The solicitors’ time is actually funded by a range of different charities. This means that when you come to write the Will, the solicitor will encourage you to think about leaving a bequest to one of the charity sponsors in the Will. It’s not compulsory, but if you were already thinking of leaving some money to charity anyway, this would be a way of doing so, while getting your legal fees waived.

You can only enter your postcode from 1 March. If you visit their site before then, you can register your details to be emailed a reminder to revisit the site. Once it’s March, you’ll be able to see which solicitors near to you are taking part (and this will vary depending on where you live). Then you just need to call them to book your Free Wills appointment.

Bear in mind, appointments are limited and could get booked up very quickly. However, Free Wills month also runs in October so if you miss out in March, there’s another chance later in the year.

Note of warning

If you have very complex financial affairs – for example, lots of different assets, or property abroad – you may still be expected to pay a contribution to cover the extra time the solicitor spends writing the Will.

Charity sponsors for free Wills month

Age UK
Arthritis Research UK
Blue Cross
Breast Cancer Now
British Heart Foundation
Comic Relief
Diabetes UK
Guide Dogs
Mencap
MIND
National Trust
NSPCC
Prostate Cancer UK
Redwings
RNLI
Royal British Legion
The Salvation Army
SSAFA
Stroke Association
Tenovus Cancer Care

Areas where you can find a solicitor

Blackpool
Cardiff
Carmathenshire
Chesterfield
Chichester
Coventry
Crawley
Darlington
Eastbourne
Essex
Greater London
Harrogate
Hastings
Kent
Liverpool
Middlesbrough
Newcastle upon Tyne
Northampton
Peterborough
Sheffield
Sunderland
Swansea
Wolverhampton
Worthing
Wirral
Wrexham

For more information, visit www.freewillsmonth.org.uk.