“Don’t put off today what might be too late tomorrow.”

Jon Jacques

That is the message from a mum-of-two who is urging people to make a will this November as part of a national campaign to help people get their paperwork in order.

Mary Hope from West Sussex is one of many thousands of people who has had their will prepared by a solicitor during Will Aid last year, an annual drive which see legal firms offer up their time and expertise in exchange for a voluntary donation to charity.

The 55-year-old said she had been putting off updating her will but important life changes such as her children growing up meant that the information in her existing will became irrelevant. This prompted her to finally put pen to paper – and she urges others to do the same.

“I knew it was vital to make a new will and Will Aid scheme gave me the nudge I needed to get everything sorted.

“The process was so quick and simple that I don’t know why I put it off for so long.

“It has given me peace of mind and provides a simple process for my children when the time comes.”

A recent poll by Will Aid found that the main reasons which prompted people to make a will included becoming a parent (18%), reaching a milestone age (16%) and inheritance (8%).

And yet, despite having children being cited as a motive, the same poll found that 52% of parents with children under the age of 18 do not have one.

Will Aid patron Graham Norton said: “In my life I have come face to face with death on two occasions. “On the first, my own life was threatened after I was stabbed during a mugging in Queen’s Park and lost nearly half my blood. “The second involved the loss of my father Billy who died shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

“Both made me realise that life is too short. And both made me accept that death is very, very final. There are no comebacks, revivals or retaliations. “A will is therefore a vital document that allows you to pass on your final wishes to the people you love most.

“It is also the only way to ensure those people are provided for.

“Making a will with Will Aid means peace of mind. You never know what is around the corner and drawing up this simple document allows you to continue living each day to the full without worrying about what happens after the thunderbolt.”

Jon Jacques, chair of Will Aid said despite high-profile court cases and news of celebrities dying intestate, around 50% of people in the UK still do not have a will.

“So many of us make a will and then forget about it. But many of us then forget to update it in the event of a change in our circumstances.

“Events such as becoming a parent, grandparent, losing a partner, getting divorced or separated, inheriting assets and getting married are all life events that we should update our wills to reflect.

“Buying a house, large investments, the acquisition of additional properties or businesses and retirement plans should all be kept current in terms of the contents of your will.

“Failure to update changes in your circumstances can leave the loved ones you leave behind financially unprotected.” 

Celebrities who have died without a will include Aretha Franklin, Prince, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley.

Will Aid Month in November, encourages people to get a professionally written will with the help of a solicitor.

Law firms volunteer their time and expertise to write basic wills, waiving their fee, with clients being invited to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid instead. Donations support the vital work of the nine partner charities.

Last year Will Aid raised more than £1 million for its charity partners – ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Stephanie Maslin from Maslin Solicitors said: “Will Aid is a fantastic scheme that offers everyone the opportunity to draw up a will using the expertise of a qualified solicitor.

“Participants receive a new will, the peace of mind that everything is in place and charities benefit from the donations. Everyone wins!”

The suggested voluntary donation for your basic Will Aid will is £100 for a single will and £180 for a pair of mirror wills.

Those who wish to book a will can make their November appointments from September onwards via our website or by calling us on 0300 0309 558.

For more information www.willaid.co.uk.