ITV journalist Robert Peston is calling on solicitors in Devon to sign up to a charity campaign this November as the pandemic has left hundreds of local people waiting to write a will.
Some 49% of people in the UK do not have a will – and the coronavirus pandemic has seen a surge in demand for help from local solicitors.
The annual Will Aid campaign is helping meet the demand, but more support is needed from local firms who are receiving hundreds of enquiries from across the county.
The campaign not only helps both regular people up and down the UK communicate their wishes after death, but also nine of the country’s most-loved charities.
Taking place every November, it has so far raised more than £21million for ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF and Trocaire since its launch in 1988.
Firms taking part offer their time and expertise to the campaign for a suggested voluntary client donation of £100 for a single will or £180 for a pair of mirror wills.
Robert, who has supported the campaign following the deaths of his wife and father, said he would like to see more firms get involved this year.
He said: “Getting involved in Will Aid not only helps protect someone’s wishes, but helps vulnerable people across the UK access the support they need.
“Writing a will can be an upsetting experience, but it helps to ease pain and disruption – something so many of us have experienced throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“I would urge solicitors in Devon to get involved this year and help more people through these exceptional times we find ourselves living in.”
Other celebrity supporters include familiar faces such as Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis, Game of Thrones star Iain Glen and Dame Judi Dench.
Peter de Vena Franks, Campaign Director for Will Aid, said: “The pandemic has seen people across the country realise the importance of having a will to ensure their end-of-life wishes are respected.
“It has unfortunately also seen the workload of our chosen charities increase significantly, and they need our support more than ever.
“Will Aid provides solicitors a fantastic opportunity to help transform the lives of thousands of vulnerable people through our charity partners, and I urge more firms in Devon to get involved this November.”
More information on Will Aid and how to take part can be found at www.willaid.org.uk.