The success of Will Aid rests solely on the participation of lawyers across the UK. Here campaign director Peter de Vena Franks urges solicitors to get on board for 2018 – and explores how solicitors can reap the rewards as well as raise money that will change lives.

Lawyers are being urged to sign up to a campaign which raises money for charity and targets the two thirds of Britons who do not have a will.
Will Aid, which takes place throughout November, will see legal firms across the county volunteer their time and expertise, waive their fee for writing a basic will and instead, invite clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid. The donations are pooled and then shared between nine of the UK’s best-loved charities.
The simple initiative is easy to sign up to and you can pledge as much or as little time as you want.
The Will Aid team carries out all the admin associated with the programme so there is no complicated paperwork or VAT for you to deal with.
And as well as helping raise vital funds, there are also lots of perks for participating firms too.

PR boost

Will Aid is celebrating its 30th birthday this year and in the last three decades it has made more than £20 million for the nine charities it supports.
It has also brought together a community of solicitors many of which have taken part in the fundraiser for consecutive years.
Not only are they helping to boost the money raised for charity but they have also found being part of the campaign hugely beneficial – improving the visibility of their legal firm and providing a wonderful platform for publicity.
After all, playing a part in Will Aid is a great way to promote the legal professional locally and nationally and we have a team of PR professionals involved behind the scenes to facilitate this.
Most of the solicitors who take part use our template press releases and expert contacts and guidance to celebrate their success in the media.
Others use their connection with Will Aid on their publicity materials, emails and websites, helping the community identify them as generous, responsible companies.
Will Aid generates a lot of positive media attention – and that can only be good for business. And when you register we provide you with a whole range of publicity material to help you with your PR.

Other perks of participating?

Publicity is not the only perk to participating.
It is also a fantastic way to meet new clients – and therefore boosts business.
Laura Harrington-Rutterford, a partner at Attwells Solicitors, a leading property law firm in Suffolk, takes part in Will Aid every year and has set up a new private client department to cater for an increase in work.
Last year her firm helped raise hundreds of pounds for charity.
She said: “We were introduced to dozens of new clients, many of which have continued to work with us.
“Will Aid only covers a basic will and we found that many of the people who came to us for a will needed something a little more complex, with the additional work being charged for as normal.
“This also led to further work involving financial affairs and tax planning.
“Most firms take on a bit of pro bono work but Will Aid is very easy to participate in, only lasts for one month and results in huge benefits.
“The drive also really helps nine charity partners, who rely on this funding to reach a host of people in need.”

Tell me more

As part of the Will Aid programme the solicitors waive the fee for writing a basic will or pair of mirror wills and instead, clients are just asked to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid.
Any additional work to the will can be charged separately and is paid to the legal firm.
The scheme takes place across the country from 01-30 November 2018 and supports nine of the UK’s best-loved charities – ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).
Will Aid has raised more than £20 million since it launched 30 years ago, with many millions more in pledged legacies.

You play a part

The Will Aid initiative doesn’t work without the help of solicitors like you.
Most firms take on a bit of pro bono work but this programme is very easy to participate in, only lasts for one month, involves no admin and results in huge benefits.

This is how it works:
• Solicitors like you register with Will Aid.
• Will Aid guides local people wishing to make a will to your practice.
• You waive your usual fee for a basic will, inviting clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid instead.
• Suggested donations are £95 for a basic single will or £150 for a pair of basic mirror wills.
• You can take on as many or as few Will Aid clients as you wish.
• We provide everything you need for a Will Aid campaign.
• The money you raise is then divided between the nine Will Aid charities and supports their vital work.

Find out more

Sign up today to make a valuable difference – and to reap the rewards of a reputation boost that all legal firms should embrace.