5.4 million Britons ‘do not know where to start’ when it comes to writing a Will

A new study published this week suggests that a staggering 5.4 million UK adults are ‘completely perplexed’ by Wills and ‘would not know where to start’ if they wanted to write one.

The research, which was carried out by insurer Royal London and surveyed a large sample of people all across the country, found that more than half (54 per cent) of adult respondents did not have a Will. Among parents, that figure was slightly higher, at 59 per cent.

Of those surveyed that did not have a Will, almost a quarter (24 per cent) said that they had no intention of making one in the near future, while more than a third (34 per cent) said that only an extreme life event – such as being diagnosed with a terminal illness – would encourage them to make one.

Conversely, the survey found that of those that did have a Will, more than half (53 per cent) had not updated theirs to reflect important life events such as getting married or having children, and were therefore relying on an outdated document.

The study’s authors said that too many people across the UK were underestimating the importance of Wills and that their families could find themselves in a very messy situation indeed in the event of an unexpected death.

They added that it was “especially important” for parents to ensure they have an up-to-date Will in place, as this is the only way they can control who will look after their children when they die.

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Jeffrey Cohen
Jeffrey is Head of the Private Client department of Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office and joined the firm in May 2014. Jeffrey is a highly experienced private client lawyer and focuses on all aspects of private client law, wealth management, tax and trust law including estate and inheritance tax planning.