The coronavirus outbreak has prompted many to get their affairs in order by updating their will.
COVID-19 has been on the minds of most UK residents since the outbreak caused a nationwide lockdown in March, and the severity of the outbreak has led many to finally get around to creating or updating an out-of-date will.
Initially, in the earlier part of the outbreak, The Law Society reported that there had been a 30% increase on the usual requests to create a will. The latest figures now put that increase at 76% compared to the same period last year.
The National Will Register has also seen a noticeable increase in searches for wills carried out by those who have lost someone as a result of COVID-19. Friends and family will often search for a will on the register after a death to quickly determine funeral wishes and help speed up the process of probate.
While the cause for the increase of will writing enquiries is incredibly sad, law firms up and down the country will welcome the trend of more people getting their affairs in order. A recent survey conducted by Percy Hughes & Roberts found that 67% of people admitted to not having a will, despite 90% of the 1,182 surveyed planning to leave their assets to their immediate family.
Dying without a valid will in place can lead to strict inheritance laws coming into effect. However, these ‘Rules of Intestacy’ were created in 1925 and do not account for modern family situations, such as out of wedlock children or step-children. This can lead to assets being given to unintended parties. It can also lead to inheritance tax complications.
Partner and Head of Wills and Probate at Percy Hughes & Roberts, Alison Beech, stated:
The coronavirus outbreak has focused people’s minds when it comes to writing a will, and rightly so.
Wills can be notoriously contentious, and not having an up-to-date will can create grey areas. This can lead to a higher risk of your estate facing challenges further down the line.
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.
Do I need to update my will?
There are many events that occur throughout our lives that can affect our will. If any of these events take place and a will is not updated, the document will likely be inaccurate in reflecting an individual’s last requests.
It is generally good practice to regularly check your will for any updates, even if your situation has not changed drastically. However, if any of the following life events happen it is hugely important to update your will:
- A birth in the family – children and grandchildren
- A marriage* or divorce
- Moving house
- Changes to the executor
- Changes in finances
- The death of a family member
How can Percy Hughes & Roberts help?
At Percy Hughes & Roberts, we understand the importance of having an up-to-date will to avoid all of the headaches that your family may be put through after your death.
We have a team of expert will writing solicitors who are ready to help you start writing your will to combat any of these unwanted consequences.
If you need assistance with probate, writing a will, making a change to a will, or simply want general advice, our Wirral Wills solicitors have a wealth of experience.
* A marriage will revoke a will