Barriers to making a free will removed

Bequeathed and RNIB press release – 15 June 2021

Having an up-to-date will is essential to ensure your final wishes are carried out, yet it can seem quite a daunting process.

Fifty-nine per cent of UK adults do not have a will. To remove the barriers to making a will, Bequeathed, a legacy fundraising company, has launched their new inclusive and accessible free will service.

Will For Good allows people to make a free will and support charitable causes. The service has been tested and verified for compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), as well as user tested by people with disabilities, meaning that anyone with a disability should be able to move through the online journey and fully access the content.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has been working closely with Bequeathed, championing their work on the accessibility of their free will-writing service, to ensure that people with sight loss can now use the service.

Alex McDowell, Head of Public Fundraising at RNIB said:

“For many of us writing a will can feel daunting, but an accessible service that is designed for all customers can make the process easier for everyone, while removing barriers that may prevent equal access to a critical service.

RNIB is delighted to have been able to work in partnership with Bequeathed and ensure blind and partially sighted people were involved in the user testing process. This gives confidence that this will be a helpful service for all.”

Hassell Inclusion provided expert strategic and technical accessibility support to Bequeathed to help them make the service accessible and usable for people with a wide range of disabilities. According to their research, 20% of people in the UK have a disability making it difficult for them to use websites as easily as everybody else.

Jon Brewer, Founder and CEO of Bequeathed said:

“It’s so important that everyone has a will, to ensure the people and causes they care about are looked after - and I mean everyone, no matter if they have a disability or not.

Initially we were focused on making our online process accessible for people with sight loss. But by working with digital accessibility consultants Hassell Inclusion and expert software developers Tier 2 Consulting, we expanded this to include people with, for example, motor impairments, autism and dyslexia, as well as older people. Accessibility is now embedded into the culture of our fundraising company and we’ll continue to work on improving the user experience for everyone.”

The Will For Good scheme raises money for good causes by offering individuals the opportunity to make a will and encouraging them to include a gift to their favourite charities. The free will includes 30 minutes of advice from a legal firm, giving users, and their families, peace of mind.

Jonathan Hassell, CEO of Hassell Inclusion said:

“We’re passionate about removing barriers in digital technology to make it accessible to everyone. With 59% of people not having a will it’s critical that, once someone has made the decision to make one, there are no digital accessibility barriers to stop them. So we were delighted to support Bequeathed in embedding accessibility into their culture and Will For Good site to offer an accessible free will.“

Bequeathed work with over 130 charities across the UK to help people make a Will For Good. UK charities received £3.4 billion in legacy gifts in 2019 and this is predicted to increase to between £3.7 and £3.9 billion by 2025.