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Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is teaming up with national award-winning local law firm Wollen Michelmore Solicitors to hold Will Week. The event - from 8th to 13th October – marks the sixth year Wollen Michelmore have teamed up with the Zoo. The week offers people the chance to have their wills written by experts who will discuss circumstances in person and prepare a will bespoke to individual needs, with clients making a donation to the Zoo – a registered charity – instead of paying Wollen Michelmore direct.

Will Week is an appropriate event for the Zoo, as the charity has received many significant legacies over the years. Paignton Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling: “Our Ape Centre – home to gorillas and orang utans, including babies Tatau and Natalia – was built thanks to a legacy left in a will. Another sum built a whole set of owl aviaries. It is a very important way for a charity like ours to receive funds.” A generous recent legacy will be used to make alterations to the large mammal house to accommodate the Zoo’s growing herd of giraffes.

A will is a vital document. Without one, your estate may not go to the people you wish to benefit and, in some cases, may even pass to the government. There is no way to leave money to a charity on your death without a will. Leaving a will that says clearly who should get your property and money when you die can go a long way to preventing unnecessary distress at an already difficult time. If you die without a will it can also lead to long and complicated legal wrangles. A professionally drafted will can help avoid this. Each year, significant amounts end up going to the government because people didn’t write a will. 

Phil added: “You hear all these terrible stories of family disagreements over inheritances. Almost seven out of ten people have not made a will, which I find amazing. A will can make all the difference and above all else gives you the chance to decide what happens after your death.”

As part of Paignton Zoo Will Week, you can book a personal consultation in a private room with a lawyer from Wollen Michelmore, who will waive their usual fees for a basic will made through the scheme. Instead, they are asking people to make a donation to the Zoo of a minimum of £175 (for a single person) or £225 (for couples). Some more complex wills or wishes may involve an additional charge. Money raised in Will Week will go towards Paignton Zoo conservation projects. For more information, contact Hayley Gibson on 01803 697500.
 

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