Research reveals nearly half of Britons over 55 do not have a will
A study has shown that two in three UK residents, including 42% of over 55s, do not have a will
The research, carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support, has uncovered some shocking statistics relating to the number of people leaving their final wishes to chance. Their online survey found that 63 percent of UK residents have not written a will.
- 2 in 3 UK residents don’t have a will – including 42% of over 55s
- 1.5 million people haven’t updated their will since getting married – making it invalid
- 1 in 5 (20%) admit to ‘will blunders’ - such as still including an ex-partner
- Almost 1 in 10 wills have not been updated to take account of children or grandchildren
It appears some of those surveyed understood the potential headache these blunders could cause, with one in ten admitting they are planning on updating their will but have not yet got around to it.
Why does it matter if I haven’t got an up-to-date will?
Put simply, having an up-to-date will makes it much easier for your family and/or friends to sort everything out when you die. Without an up-to-date will the process can be more time consuming and also more stressful for your family.
Writing a will is particularly important if you have children or other family members who depend on you financially. If you do not have a will, your assets will be shared in a standard way, defined by law. However, no two families are the same and relationships are always a little more complex, so you may want to share everything you own differently to this standard.
For example, do you have step-children as well as your own children? Do your children with a former partner now live with your ex-partner and his or her new partner? Do you have children with a new partner? Do you have an adult relative who needs ongoing care? None of these situations is unusual, but unless you have a will that takes into account your own particular circumstances, the standard rules that apply in the absence of a will may not allow for what you would like to happen.
Official guidance from the Government recommends that people review their will every five years and/or after any major life change (such as the birth of a child, a marriage, a divorce). This is to ensure that your wishes are followed correctly once you pass away and the will is not disputed.
How Percy Hughes & Roberts can help
Many websites now offer services to write your own will. However, it is very easy to make a mistake if you do not seek professional advice. Sadly, such mistakes often mean that your family and friends face potential long and expensive legal battles once you have passed away.
Our Wills, Trusts & Probate department, which is headed by partner Alison Beech, offers a thorough, professional and personal service. Our specialised team will help you to plan for the future, to ensure that there are no shocks for your loved ones.
Alison Beech commented:
The figures that have come out in this survey really are quite shocking. The process of making a will can be so simple, and it is saves so much pain and hassle for families in the long-term.
If you have a family and do not have a will, we would urge you to get your affairs in order and make arrangements for your loved ones closest to you.
Our wills, trusts and probate solicitors have a wealth of experience in helping people through what can be a difficult time, dealing with estate and trust property and complex estates.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to a wills and probate solicitor for advice, contact Percy Hughes & Roberts for a no-obligation phone consultation today. We provide ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process.