More people than ever are risking intestacy, according to a study which reveals a continued lack of awareness surrounding legacy planning.
The research, published by legal services software developer Willsuite, indicates that the average age a person drafts a Will in the UK has increased from 56.5 to 58.
The finding forms part of Willsuite’s annual analysis of the Will writing industry in England and Wales, which is based on its own data of 50,000 Wills and over £6 billion in pledged gifts.
Despite the fact that people appear to be putting off making a Will until later in life, the research shows growing interest in later life planning. In fact, almost as many Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs) were drafted last year than Wills.
Commenting on the report, Seb Shakh, director of Willsuite, said: “I think the report shows we as an industry need to do more to ensure we still appeal to a younger and more tech-centric market, and that we can do more to promote charitable giving. I’m keen to see how we can accomplish this over the next year.”
The study comes after research revealed last year that more than half of parents in the UK with children under the age of 18 have not made a Will. The report, published by the charity, Will Aid, found that 56 per cent of parents have not specified how their estate should be distributed on death.
Tim Steele, a partner with Palmers and an expert in Wills and Probate said: “If you die without making a Will, then your estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy and the results of this may not be what you imagine.
“Your loved ones will be left to sort out your financial affairs, at a time when they are grieving and facing uncertain times. The greater the value of a person’s estate the more complicated things become and although you may not have a fortune the size of Aretha Franklin’s, making a Will ensures that the things you have worked hard for and hold dear, are distributed according to your wishes.
“It is also important to remember that under current intestacy rules there is no provision for co-habiting couples. It is possible to claim against the estate but this can be both costly and stressful and success is not guaranteed.
“Making a Will doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Many clients who have gone through the process admit it is it far more straightforward than they had imagined.
“Putting your affairs in order provides peace of mind, enabling you to get on with the rest of your life.”
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