While there has long been concern about the lack of Wills in the UK, it looks like the tide has turned. Today, the number of people making an up-to-date Will is increasing at a considerable rate.
According to ‘The Will writing industry in 2018’ report, 45% of Great Britain now has a Will, up from 39% in 2017. Breaking the figures down by age group and family circumstances:
- 75% of people aged over 55 now have a Will
- 79% of retirees state that they have a Will in place
- Only 12% of people under the age of 34 make a Will
- 34% of people between 35 and 54 have a Will
- Only 26% of parents with children under the age of four have a Will
- 42% of parents with children aged between twelve and sixteen have a Will.
As well as a long-held aversion to admitting our own mortality, according to the findings, one of the most common reasons for not making a Will is shifting family circumstances (41%).
However, in an age of second marriages and children making a Will has never been more important if you want to avoid disputes and protect those you love after you are gone.
An increase in DIY Wills
While it is good news that more people are planning for what happens once they are gone, the report also highlights increasing popularity in unconventional methods when setting out our last wishes. For example, according to the figures, 3% used an online template to make their own Will (up from 2% in 2017).
However, not using a professional lawyer or Will writer is almost always a mistake. When choosing a professional Will writer, 67% want the service to be regulated by a recognised body and 65% are sensitive to price.
Common mistakes with a DIY Will include:
- It’s not signed or dated
- It’s signed in the wrong place
- It doesn’t have the necessary number of witnesses
- The wrong person has witnessed the Will
- The Will fails to cover all your assets
- The Will fails to consider issues around inheritance tax, executors and trusts.
Even the smallest of mistakes could render a Will invalid, and/or lead to more family disputes, so expert advice is always recommended.
While it is positive that more people are writing a Will, the report highlights that more still needs to be done. Especially when considering the changing dynamics of the modern family.
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