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Paignton Zoo is teaming up with local law firm Wollen Michelmore Solicitors to hold Will Week. The event - from 2nd to 7th October – is in its fifth year and offers people the chance to have their wills written by experts who donate their time for free, with clients making a donation to the Zoo – a registered charity – instead.

Will Week is an appropriate event for the Zoo, as the charity has received many significant legacies over the years. Paignton Zoo fundraiser Jenny Paton: “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 will is a vital document. Without one, your estate may not go to the people you wish to benefit and, in some cases, may pass to the government. Leaving a will that says clearly who should get your property and money when you die prevents unnecessary distress at an already difficult time. If you die without a will it can also lead to long and complicated legal wrangles; last year £8 million went to the government because people didn’t write a will.

Jenny 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. This award winning local firm is waiving their usual fees for wills made through the scheme. Instead, the Zoo is asking for a minimum donation of £150 for a single person or £200 for a couple (significantly less than the commercial rates). Some more complex wills may incur an additional charge. This money will go towards Paignton Zoo conservation projects. For more information contact Jenny Paton on 01803 697509 or email [email protected].

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