Studies have shown that nearly two thirds of UK adults have not prepared a Will. Meaning possessions, money, property and even dependent children could be left with someone you have not chosen
Macmillan Cancer support, who conducted the study, has found that a shocking 42% of people over 55 don’t have a Will in place.
Furthermore, a poll suggested that 1.5 million British citizens may have unwittingly made their Will null and void by getting married as marriage automatically revokes a Will made prior to the nuptials.
One in ten people with Wills have acknowledged that they are planning to update their Wills to include children and grandchildren, but are yet to get round to it.
Several other possible errors were found to be common:
- The Will still includes an ex-partner.
- A new partner is not added to the Will.
- Leaving in someone you “planned to remove”
Official guidance recommends that people review their Will every five years and after any major life changes, but a quarter of Wills have not been updated for at least five years.
Previous research from Macmillan found that people’s top reasons for not having a Will included them having “just never got round to it”, as well as the belief that they don’t have anything valuable to leave and that they don’t need to write one until they’re older.
This can be particularly important where:
- you share a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner;
- you wish to make provision for a dependant who is unable to care for themselves;
- there are several family members who may make a claim on the Will, for example, a second wife or children from a first marriage;
- your permanent home is not in the United Kingdom;
- you are concerned about the possible impact of care fees;
- Inheritance Tax could potentially be an issue for your estate;
- you are a resident in the UK but there is overseas property involved; and
- there is a business involved.