More than half of UK population without will

Posted on April 27th, 2011 | Categories - News

A brand new survey has found that half of the UK’s adults have no will, with the majority claiming that they just “hadn’t got round to it yet”.

The research by Standard Life revealed that 60% of 35-44 year olds don’t have a will, while 38% of 45-54 year olds and more than a fifth of those over 65 are also without a will. Experts are warning that by failing to arrange a will, consumers could be putting their heirs at risk of paying hefty legal bills when they die.

“The legal fees in untangling estates when someone dies without a will can be higher and the inheritance tax bill could be higher, not to mention the stress for the family and potential delay in distributing assets,” commented head of estate planning at Standard Life Julie Hutchison.

“People spend their lives trying to provide the best they can for loved ones, but they’re falling at the final hurdle by not protecting their futures when they’re no longer here.”

The poll revealed that those in the North of England are least likely to have a will (56%), with residents in Wales and South West England the most likely (46%).

The survey also found that almost a third of those with wills had not reviewed them in the past 3-10 years and almost 1 in 10 had not reviewed their will in more than a decade despite changes to inheritance tax being introduced in both 2006 and 2007.

Experts are now urging UK consumers a close eye on their wills and to arrange regular meetings with their private financial advisor to make sure their wills are up to date and that they reflect recent legislative changes.