60% of adults in the UK have virtually no control over what will happen to their money, property, possessions and children under 18 when they die, because they have not made a Will.
A new study by Co-op Funeralcare and Co-op Legal Services also reveals that the average age when Brits write their first Will is 42. The study also shows that one in four Brits wait until after they are 55 years old to make end of life plans by making a Will.
If you die in England or Wales without a valid Will, the law will decide who gets everything from your home to your pets. If you have no living family members that would benefit under the prescribed rules then all your estate will go to the Crown.
By taking just one minute to consider who would look after the children, what would happen to your home, your bank accounts and even your favourite jumper if the worst happened, you may decide that spending from as little as £150 including VAT for a Single Will is a small price to pay to help prevent family members from feuding for years after you have passed away.
The Co-op’s findings reveal that some of the most common reasons prompting people into making a Will include, reaching a certain age (26%), having a child (19%), the death of relative (17%) and buying property (16%).
If you have already made a Will but have not updated it for some time, please be aware that lifestyle changes such as getting married, having children, separating, getting divorced or the death of a spouse can dramatically impact the efficiency and in some cases the validity of your original Will.
The Co-op’s research also reveals that the majority of people in the UK who have already made a Will have never updated it, even though their current wishes may have changed considerably since the Will was written.
The top 10 reasons why Brits update their Wills were found to be:
- Grandchildren 19%
- Reached a certain age 18%
- Birth of a child 15%
- Death of a relative 13%
- Property purchase 11%
- Separation / divorce 9%
- Inherited money 9%
- Got remarried 8%
- Health scare / issue 5%
- Got married for first time 5%
Our Head of Wills, Solicitor James Antoniou said, “The research shows a worrying gap in end of life planning, potentially leaving millions of relatives and families facing additional stress and confusion whilst grieving for the loss of a loved one.
“With over 30 million people in the UK yet to write a Will, the research suggests that we’re a nation that tends to bury its heads in the sand when it comes to end of life planning.
“In order to ensure that people’s wishes are clear about who they want to benefit from their estate, it is crucial they get expert legal advice and put an effective Will in place.
“It’s also worrying that over half of people who have Wills have never updated them. Depending on the way a Will has been drafted, a marriage, having children, a divorce or the death of a spouse can make the Will ineffective.”
At Co-op Legal Services fixed cost Wills start from as little as:
£125 +VAT (£150 including VAT) for a Single Will
£195 +VAT (£234 including VAT) for Mirror Wills
£225 + VAT (£270 including VAT) for a Lasting Power of Attorney.