Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to give to charity

The will-writing charity that’s raised £8m

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to give to charity

Image: Jamshyd Masud/Sightsavers

November 07 2010
Lindsay Macpherson

Inspired by the success of Live Aid, in 1988 Scottish solicitor Graeme Pagan set up Will Aid, an annual November event that sees participating UK solicitors waiving their will-writing fees in return for a pledge to charity. Suggested donations range from £40 to draft a codicil (amendment) to up to £110 for matching wills; donations are split evenly between Will Aid’s nine UK-based charities, which include ActionAid, Age UK, NSPCC and Sightsavers. (Pictured: six-year-old Manoj Kumar from Pakistan, whose vision has been corrected by his new spectacles provided by Sightsavers, enabling him to go back to school.)

Last November, 17,000 wills were made or amended through Will Aid, adding a record £1.25m to the £8m total raised since 1988. But according to Will Aid’s Sue Davison, the lasting impact comes from the legacy donations made during the month. “Only five per cent of the roughly 60 per cent of Britons who have drafted wills leave a legacy,” says Davison, “but gifts in wills account for up to 50 per cent of the income of some Will Aid Charities.”