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Just four in 10 adults who own property “have written a Will”

Just four in 10 adults who own property have written a Will, a major study has revealed.

The finding forms part of the new IRN Wills and Probate consumer research report, which explores the trends and attitudes towards later life planning in the last 12 months.

Later life planning in the wake of Covid-19

According to the latest statistics, excess deaths – defined as the number of deaths recorded in the last year compared to the five-year average – increased significantly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

But contrary to predictions that Covid-19 would encourage action around later life planning, Will writing increased by just one per cent between 2019 and 2020.

It means that just four in 10 adults who own a property have written a Will, leaving those without one in a precarious position.

When someone dies without leaving a Will, their estate is passed down by the rules of intestacy – and these may not always reflect the true wishes of the deceased.

Will writing increases with age

The research also reveals that the proportion of adults with a Will increases with age. For example, eight in 10 (79 per cent) over 65s have written a Will, while under three in five (57 per cent) adults between the age of 55 and 64 can say the same.

Wills provide “peace of mind”

Around two-thirds (67 per cent) of those that did have a Will say they did so to give them “peace of mind”, while half (49 per cent) said they wrote a Will to ensure their estate is passed down as planned.

Brits still “failing to prioritise” later life planning

Commenting on the research report, the authors said Will writing “is still an activity which most individuals fail to prioritise”.

“It becomes of greater importance as consumers get older, and/or build up assets and this is reflected in our latest survey,” the report says.

“As in previous years it is the older age groups – 55 and over – where will ownership is very high and will ownership in all age groups below 55 is much lower. Dealing with probate is also an activity that is largely the preserve of older adults.”

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our later life planning team today.

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