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8 out of 10 parents in Wales have no legal guardian in place to look after their children in the event of their deaths

20 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

New data has shown 81% of parents in Wales have no legal plans in place to make sure their children are looked after, should the parents die.

The research was commissioned by Solicitors for the Elderly and Harding Evans Solicitors who have warned that parents in Wales are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will.

The data found that only one in ten parents in Wales (13%) understood that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to children if there is no will in place.

SFE, a membership body of over 1,700 UK solicitors specialised in advising people planning for the future, is calling on parents to make sure they have an updated will in place ahead of Update Your Will Week which begins on January 23.

Hannah Thomas, Associate Solicitor in Harding Evans’ Wills and Probate team said: “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.


“Our research shows that half of the wills in Wales are out of date and many people don’t have one in the first place.”

The new research commissioned by SFE and carried out by Censuswide also revealed that only 50% of respondents in Wales have updated their will within the last five years, meaning half of the wills in the country are out of date.

It also showed around a quarter of respondents in Wales (24%) have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced or having a child, since they last updated their will.

One in ten (12%) of respondents in Wales knew someone who had been affected by something going wrong with a will.

Harding Evans recommend having an up to date, well drafted will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die.

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