News and Events

Importance of a legal guardian

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Seven out of ten parents across the UK have no legal guardian in place to care for their children in the event of their deaths, according to research commissioned by Solicitors for the Elderly (SfE).

The research has been done ahead of “Update Your Will Week 2023,” which begins today and finishes on 29th January and calls on parents to make sure they have an updated will.

According to the latest figures, parents are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will. Fewer than one fifth (17%) understand that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to your children if you don’t have a will in place.

Chair of SFE, Michael Culver, explains:

“It’s 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.

The research conducted as part of “Update Your Will Week 2023” has also revealed

  • Only 56% of respondents have updated their will within the last five years, meaning around a half of UK wills are out of date.
  • Half of respondents have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will.
  • One fifth of respondents know someone who has been affected by something going wrong with a will

Update Your Will Week is an initiative run by Solicitors for the Elderly to encourage people to review their Will, ideally once every 5 years or after life-changing events like getting married or having children.