Most Brits Not Planning their Later Lives

23 May 2016

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60% of adults in the UK don’t have a Will. This is figure is surprising in some ways, but not in others. The average age of people making a Will is 42 and there is usually a life event that prompts them to make a Will.

Having said that the average age of people who make a Will in the UK is 42, there are still 25% of adults aged over 65 who have not yet made a Will. Leaving no Will can cause issues for family members, particularly if you are from a blended family or if you aren’t in a conventional relationship.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that half of all Wills that have been written could be invalid because they’ve never been updated. 55% of people who have written a Will have not updated it and there is a very good chance that common life events such as marriage, death and divorce may leave their Will worthless.

If you have an out of date Will, your family may find that your wishes are ignored and your estate is distributed using the rules of intestacy (when there is no Will).

James Antoniou, Head of Wills at Co-op Legal said, “So you can have peace of mind that your wishes are clear about who you want to benefit from your estate, it’s crucial that you take the right advice and put an effective Will in place.”

He went on to say “it’s worrying that over half of all UK adults who already have a Will, haven’t updated them. Depending on how the Will has been written, a marriage, divorce or death of your partner could make your Will invalid. Our lives constantly change and evolve and it’s important to remember to keep your Will reviewed and current.”

The Top 5 life events that prompt most people to write their Will are:

  1. Reaching a milestone age
  2. Having a child
  3. Losing a relative
  4. Buying a property
  5. Going to a close friend or family members funeral

Just like prompts to write a Will, there are a number of life events that result in people updating their Will. The Top 5 are:

  1. Having grandchildren
  2. Reaching a milestone age
  3. Having a child
  4. Losing a relative
  5. Buying a property

But it’s not only Wills that are being overlooked. Funeral plans, where you can purchase your funeral before you die and make sure that everything is in place, are also being forgotten.

83% of over 65 year olds do not yet have a funeral plan in place. Richard Lancaster, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare said, “Knowing that you have made arrangements for later life and that your wishes for your funeral are known and paid for can save additional worry and grief at an already difficult time.

“Funeral plans give people the opportunity to plan their funeral in as little or as much detail as they want. Then when the time comes, their loved ones are not worrying about what they would have wanted. Instead, they are sure that their wishes are being satisfied.”

He also said “if people choose to leave their funeral plans in their Will, they should make sure they communicate this with their family. This means their wishes can be found before the funeral is arranged.”

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