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:
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.
Law firms are failing to make the most of converting callers into clients, with only 1.5% of those firms surveyed following up on the initial call from the prospective client.
The Legal Services Communication Report 2018 by Concert is a mystery shopper survey of 30 law firms, with 90 telephone enquiries in total. The purpose was to secure a quotation for work, focusing on three areas – Will writing, residential conveyancing, and debt recovery.
Overall, law firms are failing to optimise opportunities. Just 51% of calls were connected with someone who could assist, meaning almost half of all enquiries were not; and in most cases the onus was firmly placed on the caller to call back.
Last year, almost a quarter of drivers admitted to using a handheld device while driving to make or answer a call within the previous 12 months. What’s more, 18% admitted to using a mobile phone to check social media and emails or to send a text while driving. These shocking statistics come from the RAC Report on Motoring 2017.
In an effort to stop drivers using their phones in the car, Norfolk Council is testing smart road signs that are capable of detecting phone use by picking up radio signals emitted by mobiles phones during a call. If a signal is detected, then a smart sign further along the road will flash a warning to a driver, telling the driver to stop using their phone immediately. This does not apply to Bluetooth signals, as Bluetooth connected calls are legal in the UK, and the scanner has been designed to distinguish between the radio and Bluetooth signals.
Estate planning is an area of law that requires a lot of careful thought. There are many important matters to address when writing a Will, and a mistake could lead to a dispute arising at a later date. To help ensure your wishes are fully carried out and your estate is administered in the way you want after your death, here are six crucial things to consider when constructing your Will.
1 – Make sure you use an experienced Wills solicitor. Don’t be tempted by the cheap “DIY” Wills you see online or in bookshops – you could end up inadvertently disinheriting loved ones because of some ambiguous wording or causing unnecessary complications for your family after you’ve gone.
2 – Choose your Executors wisely. Often, parents will choose their adult children who have been estranged from each other or have had a turbulent relationship for many years. This is done in the hope that it will bring the siblings closer together as they deal with their parent’s estate. However, this is rarely the case and often causes a great many difficulties and additional expense and delays for the executors and beneficiaries. Make sure your chosen executors know what is expected of them and that they are willing to act as executor. It is better to choose two executors, rather than one, just in case anything incapacitates the sole executor.
In a recent High Court case, Rakesh Gupta claimed that his late mother’s Will, which favoured his younger brother, Naresh, was invalid due to lack of knowledge and approval. The Court found in favour of Naresh on the basis that, when considering the facts of the case, no suspicious activity had surrounded the creation or approval of the Will.
Their parents had handed over their successful business Rakesh in the 1990s, having purchased a house in which they lived with Naresh and his young family.
Their parents had ‘mirror’ Wills drawn up in 1998. Both Rakesh and Naresh were named as executors but the terms of the Wills favoured Naresh – the family home and a significant cash sum was left to him. Aside from small legacies left to their grandchildren, the rest of Mr and Mrs Gupta’s estate was to be equally divided between their two sons.