YouGov study reveals worrying Wills trend
In a recent YouGov study that was commissioned by Thomas Eggar LLP, it identified that 55% of those polled (of a total of 2,074) do not yet have a Will in place to make sure their estate is dealt with in line with their wishes, upon their death. This figure increased to 65% for those with children.
The study also found that almost one in ten who do have Wills have not updated them in over 10 years. Additional research from Wills & Assets also estimates that up to £175 million of assets could be left unclaimed, due to difficulties in tracking down assets after a family member has passed away.
The findings of the studies provide some rather surprising statistics.
It pays to have a Will drafted, to ensure relatives know about it and, importantly, that it is updated when life circumstances change — whether it’s a change in family relationships, your financial situation or relocation to a new address.
This can all be easily done by lodging a Will with the Certainty register, which is readily accessible by private client probate practitioners.
Education is ultimately a major part of this overall process: more can be done to inform people about the importance of having a Will so that an estate is dealt with correctly and in accordance with a person’s final wishes. It also raises the important point of ensuring that once a Will is in place, it is kept up to date but can be easily located by family members.
Locating Assets is a key part of executing a Will and by including a reference to a Financial Asset Search service in a Will, it can help ensure that every effort is made locate assets to maximise the final value of an estate, before it is distributed to beneficiaries.
With November being Will Aid month, solicitors across the country are offering their time to help people develop a Will in return for a donation, which goes towards nine worthy charities. So, there really is no excuse not to have an active and current Will in place as we head towards the end of the year!