Two thirds of parents don’t have a valid will

Author: Emma Wood

Research carried out by Royal London has revealed that 59% of parents don’t have a will and if they do, it’s out of date. This can be particularly problematic because without one, any children under the age of 18 will be brought up by who the law dictates should look after them, not who the parents might want to care for them.

Other worrying statistics showed that 54% of the adult population doesn’t have a will, with 24% of those people having no intention of making one, although 34% of them said that they would consider drafting a will if they became ill. Alarmingly, the study also cited that a staggering 5.4 million people don’t even know how to go about drafting their will.

“A willis an incredibly important document; you should never underestimate the power of it”, said Judith Bromley, head of wills and probate at Russell & Russell. “Without it, you can’t choose who you want to benefit from your estate, who you want to look after your kids if anything happens to you or, indeed, whether there’s anyone you don’t want to benefit from your passing.

“And it doesn’t stop there. If you don’t have a will in place, your next of kin will have to apply for probate, which just adds to the expense and heartache at a time when they really don’t need the additional stress.”

The Royal London report also pointed out that 31% of people who had made a will, had experienced a significant life event, such as marriage, divorce or having children, but over half of these people hadn’t updated their will to reflect the change in their circumstances. Many people are unaware that a change to their personal situation invalidates any previously drafted will, so it’s crucial to keep it up to date.

The research concluded that instructing a solicitor was the most popular way to draft a will (68%) and the process of writing it was far simpler than originally perceived. 85% said drafting their will was ‘quick’ while 90% viewed it as ‘easy’.

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