New research shows that 61 % of British adults do not have a Will. This equates to 30 million people.
Populus conducted the research in June this year with a sample of 2,078 adults. The new figures show a small increase from the 2016 research by Prudential which found that 59% of British adults did not have a Will.
Some of the reasons given during the recent research about why people have not made a Will include:
- Nothing worth Inheriting (38%)
- Hadn’t considered writing a Will (20%)
- Too busy to write a Will (16%)
The research also found that there are regional differences when it comes to attitudes towards making a Will. People in England are more likely than those in Wales or Scotland to have made a Will. Those living in the South-West of England having the highest whilst London showed the lowest numbers of people who have made a Will.
A Will is a legal document that sets out how you would like your assets, belongings and any property divided after you die, and who will inherit them. It is particularly important to make a Will if:
- You have children under 18. You will need to appoint a legal guardian for them, especially if you are the last surviving parent. You may wish to create a trust fund for your children.
- You have a large estate, own multiple properties or have complex business arrangements. A well-drafted Will can avert disputes, which are not uncommon when there are large amounts of money at stake.
- You have very strong or specific wishes, for example, an unequal share between your adult children, or the gifting of particular items to specific individuals. A clearly written Will ensures that there can be no confusion or room for argument after you have gone.
- You have married or divorced. If you had a Will and have since married, then the Will is revoked automatically. If you have a Will and subsequently divorce, then any gift left to your former-spouse will lapse; and if he or she is named as an executor that would automatically be cancelled. In either scenario, it is better to have a fresh Will drawn up to reflect your new status, and wishes.
Making a Will can also:
- Provide for an unmarried partner, step-children, friends or charities who are NOT provided for by the general law.
- Ensure that your estate will be administered as quickly as possible.
- Assist with the management of Inheritance Tax and Care Home Fees.
If you die without having made a Will, then your estate will be divided in line with the Rules of Intestacy, and your family may not receive what you would have wished them to have. You can read more about intestacy here.
While no one likes to consider his or her own mortality, death is inevitable and comes to us all eventually. Leaving a Will allows you to continue to take care of your family after you have gone.
If you would like to discuss having a Will drawn up by one of our expert solicitors, or if you wish to discuss any changes to your existing Will, please call Oratto on 0845 3883765 or email us - firstname.lastname@example.org.