Charity begins at home

Will Aid has been forced to issue an apology after an email that was sent to 10,000 inquirers who had failed to have wills written under a previous scheme, were sent information promoting Co-operative Legal Services, The Goodwill Partnership and Which? containing the words “you don’t have to see a solicitor”.

Several solicitors and firms have reacted to this by withdrawing from their services from Will Aid completely. Has your practice ever been involved with Will Aid or indeed withdrawn services as a result of this development?

In a statement, James Huitson, Will Aid’s Chair, said: “I would like to say sorry for any offence caused to individuals and their firms as a result of a recent promotion offered by us outside of the traditional November Will Aid month.

“It was aimed solely at people who still wanted to make a will through Will Aid but found that all the appointments were taken in their area. The gap between the number of available appointments and the number of prospective will-writers has been increasing each year and this was an attempt to address this problem.” He went on to say the controversial promotion was “a limited piece of test marketing” due to end on 15th August.

Huitson added: “We should have been more sensitive to any potential upset this would cause and the impact of this on our relationship with some of the firms that have supported us in the past.”

Will Aid originally started in 1988 with participating solicitors waiving their fee for writing a basic will, in return for a donation to charity. Since then, over 275,000 people have used the service to make a will through the scheme. To date it has raised over £16 million for the vital work of the Will Aid charities in the UK and around the world. Does your practice support the work they do?

In 2014 over £1.7 million was raised and last year over 1,500 solicitors practices helped 24,000 new clients write their wills. Were you one of them?

Will Aid state that many of the firms who are involved in the scheme find that the clients gained often go on to use their services again in the future. Has your firm found this to be the case?

The Will Aid scheme is due to start again in November. Will your practice be actively promoting Will Aid this year?

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