Make a Will Week kicks off in regions

LOCAL law societies come into their own this week as they take up the challenge of persuading people to make a will.

Chancery Lane has largely handed on the initiative for Make a Will Week to local societies, which have a better knowledge of where resources should be targeted.

In Manchester, solicitors will be manning an exhibition stand in the main shopping centre, while in Liverpool they will be taking part in an off-air radio phone-in to answer people's probate queries.

The society's north west reg-ional secretary, David Sharples, has raised more than u9,000 from 350 local firms and is mounting a major marketing campaign.

A will information telephone line has been set up, 200,000 leaflets are to be distributed and a series of public meetings are being staged in Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire. The campaign will also generate media coverage including newspaper advertorials.

LawGroup is joining forces with a national newspaper with a promotion enabling 750 readers to obtain free wills. The network's 75 firms are each offering 10 free wills to the first respondents in their region. The rest will be offered a will for u35.

A record number of solicitors will also be taking part in Will Aid – a month-long charity promotion in November. Practitioners agree to write people's will free of charge in return for a suggested donation of u35.

Will Aid's Louise Lobo says the number of solicitors taking part this year is set to outstrip the number who signed up for the last campaign in 1992.