Report Claims 5 Million Adults Mystified By Will-Making Process

Recent research carried out for the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society has revealed that 5.4 million adults admit to having no idea where to begin when it comes to writing a will.

Over half (54%) of the adult population do not have a will and when it comes to those with children, 59% of parents either have a will that is out of date or admit to having no will at all.

This may offer the legal profession an opportunity to engage with and inform those without a valid will. If a message stressing the importance of drawing up a document accurately setting out their wishes can be effectively communicated, these figures could be vastly improved upon.

While around a quarter (24%) of those without a will don’t intend to make one, 34% admitted that if they became ill, they would consider it.

Almost a third (31%) of those who did have a will had changed their circumstances significantly since it was signed, for example by getting married or having a baby, but over half (53%) had failed to update their will in the light of this. Many were unaware that marriage invalidates a will made previously.

The traditional route of employing a solicitor remains the most common way of having a will written. Two-thirds of those surveyed (68%) used legal assistance and a large majority were pleased with the service provided, with 85% saying it was quick and 90% saying it was easy.

The figures show that there is still a long way to go in persuading people of the necessity of a valid and up-to-date will. Those who are able to tap into this market should find plenty of work. Reminding previous clients to regularly review their will and explaining the circumstances in which it may need to be redrawn should also reduce the amount of outdated wills.

Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson for Royal London, said: “It is incredibly important to have a will, not just to protect your finances but to make sure vital decisions, such as who will look after your children, are noted. Once you have a will, you should update it after any significant life events that could affect your financial situation, such as getting married, divorced or starting a family. Taking these important steps allows you to have peace of mind knowing that when you’re gone your wishes will be met.”

How important is it to remind people that they need an up-to-date Will? What needs to be done to ensure more people create a Will?

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