Northumberland-based QualitySolicitors Lawson & Thompson is offering Wills at no cost* to people aged 55 and over as part of an award-winning Will Scheme partnership with Barnardo’s. The exclusive partnership means those who do not already have one in place can have a simple Will professionally written that captures everything from final wishes and organ donation preferences, to basic inheritance and tax planning, at no cost to them. In return, those taking advantage of the offer will be asked to consider leaving a legacy gift in their Will to Barnardo’s. The scheme has already seen over 3,500 people take part and a huge £16.8m pledged in future legacy income for vulnerable and disadvantaged children throughout the UK since it began in 2010. The money goes towards research and services for young people and families who have a disability or who have experienced poverty, sexual exploitation or domestic violence. Research by Unbiased has shown that around 60 per cent of adults in the UK do not have a will. The top reason people keep putting it off is that they plan to make one when they are older. Earlier research from the Citizens Advice service showed the number of people who are dying intestate (without a will) is rising; queries rose to 3,747 in 2015, up from 1,522 in 2011. QualitySolicitors Lawson & Thompson Partner Tim Barker said making a will is not something people should put off. “A will is the only way for people to legally have their say in how their estate will be handled and distributed,” Mr Barker said. “Having a will not only provides reassurance for you, but it provides clear direction and protection for any loved ones you’re leaving behind. “We all think the worst won’t happen to us, but committing just a few hours now means no one would have to take that risk.” Barnardo’s Senior Will Scheme Client Relationship Manager, Sue Westbury said the partnership with QualitySolicitors is invaluable. “The support and engagement from participating member firms continues to result in very significant numbers of pledges which will help us to plan for the future,” Ms Westbury said. “Barnardo’s currently has three strategic aims – to build stronger families, to make safer childhoods, and to ensure positive futures for the children, young people, carers and families that we work with. We currently operate 1067 services across the UK helping over 301,000 people, and this wouldn’t be possible without the legacy income that we currently receive. “Barnardo’s would like to say a huge thank you to QualitySolicitors Head Office and all the member firms who participate in the scheme.” The law surrounding estate planning and administration is complex and there are risks involved in having a Will that is not properly drafted, signed or witnessed. Using a solicitor reduces these risks and gives people reassurance that they will be protected if something does go wrong. By taking advantage of March Will Month, people aged over 55 years can have a professionally written will for free. To take part, simply call 01670 530 700 or visit www.qualitysolicitors.com/lawsonandthompson to book an appointment. *Applies to simple single or mirror wills only for people aged 55 and over. For more complex wills you will be charged our usual fee with the discount being applied to the final invoice.  Unbiased, ’31 million UK adults at risk of dying without a will’ (2 October 2017) https://business.unbiased.co.uk/press-releases/31-million-uk-adults-at-risk-of-dying-without-a-will-2-10-2017.  BBC News, ‘Making a will: Sharp rise for intestate queries’ (19 May 2016) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36325871.