Free Wills Month

Vardags are proud to announce that we are participating in the Free Wills Month campaign this March. This campaign is a unique opportunity for individuals over the age of 55 (or a couple who would like to have mirror wills drawn up, in which case only one of them needs to be 55 or above) to have a new simple will drawn up or an old will amended, paid for by the participating charities. Should you wish to have a new will drawn up for you that is more complicated, you will still receive a contribution towards your will, but you will need to pay the remaining balance yourself. If you are concerned about whether your will would be considered a complicated will, or about the costs of drawing it up, please make sure that you raise this with the wills team at your initial meeting so that they can advise you.

About the campaign

Legacies are an important source of income for charities, accounting for a quarter of the total amount given to charities each year. However, while 35% of people say that they would leave a charitable legacy in their will, only 7% actually do. While it is not obligatory for people participating in the campaign to leave a charitable legacy in their will, statistics provided by the Free Wills team show that 65% of people choose to do so, meaning that not only does this campaign benefit the participating individuals, it also benefits the charities involved.

Why is it important to have a will?

While the focus of this campaign is to enable qualifying individuals to receive a free will, in the hope that they may wish to include a charitable bequest, Free Wills Month is also important in demonstrating the autonomy you can have over your estate by having a will, and how easy it is to have one drawn up for you.

In its recent consultation on wills, the Law Commission has suggested that only about 60% of individuals currently have a will. Reasons for not having a will can include not thinking that their estate will be worth enough to justify it or planning to leave their estate in a way that accords with the intestacy rules anyway. However, contrary to these beliefs, due to current property prices even just owning your own home, particularly where you live in the South East, can mean that your estate will actually be over the nil rate band (the amount of your estate that will be free from inheritance tax, which is currently £325,000). Having a will can enable you not only to decide which assets go to which individual, but you can also make a charitable bequest, if you so wish, and appoint a guardian if you have any children under 18. You can also provide for certain future events, such as your partner or children predeceasing you, or inheriting from another individual, and you can select who you would like to be in charge of executing your estate, provided they consent. Writing a will doesn’t have to be an expensive process, and in so doing, you can protect your loved ones from additional stress caused by the uncertainty and often the shortcomings of the intestacy rules, and ensure that your wishes are respected.

Tax benefits to making a charitable bequest in your will

If you do decide to make a charitable bequest in your will, this can also provide inheritance tax benefits. Not only will your donation be taken off the value of your chargeable estate (the portion of your estate on which you will have to pay inheritance tax), but if you leave more than 10% of your net estate to charity (the gross value of your estate minus any debts), it will also reduce the inheritance tax payable on your estate from 40% to 36%.

Therefore, depending on your estate and your wishes, there can be some serious tax benefits to making a charitable bequest in your will, and this is something that you should raise with your legal team.

How to make a charitable bequest in your will

The size of the donation that you make is completely up to you, it could be a fixed amount, a particular item, or even what’s left in your estate once the other gifts you wish to make have been given out.

How does it work?

It’s actually a very simple process. If you are a qualifying member of the public, all you need to do is contact us and ask for the Free Wills Month team. If you wish us to draw up your new will, you should then contact our client relations team and tell them that you would like to arrange a consultation so that you can receive a new will as part of the Free Wills Month campaign. During your appointment, we will take detailed instructions from you about what you would like to do in your will so that we can draw up a will that accurately reflects your wishes.

For further information regarding the Free Wills Month campaign, please see their website at:

Our full range of wills, trusts and probate services:

Our solicitors cover the full range of wills, trusts and probate matters. Our clients are typically in one of the following scenarios:

I have an issue with a will or a probate.

I have an issue with a trust.

I need help with Powers of Attorney.

I have another issue with wills and trusts.

We are ready to help

If you think you may need our help, please call us right away.  At an initial consultation we can give you preliminary advice, make a plan and if necessary discuss options to fund your case.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

It’s never too early or too late to take expert advice. Find out why.

You may be eligible for a litigation loan

If your spouse controls the family finances, you may be worried about how to find the money for your legal fees during a divorce. But this need not prevent you from accessing the best legal advice to fight for what you deserve. 

Whether you and your spouse built-up your fortune during your marriage, you married someone who already had money or you have had a child with someone with money, it is likely that you are entitled to very significant assets or income. But accessing this wealth now that you are separated may be difficult, restricting your ability to afford the very best legal representation for you and your family during your divorce.

What options are available to fund my case?

If your spouse is not prepared to pay your divorce fees, you may be eligible for a litigation loan. This specific type of lending allows you to secure any assets that you or your partner have, such as your former matrimonial home, against a loan that will cover your legal fees. This loan is then paid back at the end of the case.

A litigation loan is rigorous and transparent, and will grant you access to a top divorce lawyer who will ensure that you get your fair share. Vardags is experienced in securing litigation funding for its high net worth clients and has strong relationships with a select pool of the very best funders around. We also know when best to apply, and exercise careful judgement in determining when to pursue claims.

Vardags are ready to help

Vardags can advise in detail on the options available at your first consultation. We offer a free initial consultation, without obligation, to clients who have family assets greater than £1 million or income of greater than £150,000 per annum. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7205 5792 to arrange your consultation — it’s never too early or too late to take expert legal advice. 


020 7205 5792

[email protected]

10 Old Bailey London, EC4M 7NG


01223 581175

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1 Saint Mary's Passage Cambridge, CB2 3PQ


0161 956 3838

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King Street Manchester, M2 4WU


0191 401 8575

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Earl Grey House Newcastle, NE1 6EF


01962 706005

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87 Canon Street Winchester, SO23 9JQ


+44 207 404 9390

[email protected]

10 Old Bailey London, EC4M 7NG

Qualifying Individuals

Vardags specialise in cases involving high net worth individuals, their families and their companies.  Free consultations are offered for clients with net assets in excess of £2million or involved in other high value disputes.
24 Hour Emergency Legal Representation. Call Vardags London: 020 7404 9390
If you need a lawyer immediately because a person has been taken into custody or involved in an incident, Vardags can provide emergency legal cover at any time. We offer a swift response in person, anywhere in London or within the M25. Outside that area we may still be able to help. Call our confidential 24 hour enquiry line for immediate help.If you have been arrested or you are the subject of a dawn raid we strongly recommend you have a lawyer present in order to advise you on your options in dealing with police and other investigating bodies and to ensure your rights are protected. Note that we normally charge £350 per hour including travel time and our fees in connection with emergency legal services will usually be a minimum of £2,000 + VAT.
*All enquiries are completely confidential. We do not handle Legal Aid cases. Our lawyers do not undertake criminal work on a no win, no fee basis.

Free consultation for qualifying individuals*

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Call Vardags London: 020 7404 9390

Email: [email protected]

Our confidential enquiry line is staffed 24 hours a day.

*Free consultation for qualifying individuals. We do not undertake legal aid work but there are often other ways to fund your case. We do not act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis in civil disputes.

We will treat your information in complete confidence.

*Free consultation for qualifying individuals. We do not undertake legal aid work but there are often other ways to fund your case. We do not act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis in civil disputes.

Call Vardags London: 020 7404 9390

Our confidential enquiry lines are staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year.