Canada Life: 41% of UK adults aren’t worried about the repercussions of a missing will

According to the latest research commissioned by Canada Life, 51% of adults in the UK have neither written nor currently writing a will – with 13% saying they have no intention of doing so in their lifetime.

Related topics:  Canada Life,  Wills & Trusts
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
22nd March 2024
Wills & Trusts
"A professional financial or legal adviser will be invaluable for offering independent advice and guidance when making or revising an existing will too."
- Stacey Love, Technical Manager for Tax, Trusts & Estate Planning at Canada Life

Of those surveyed (2,000), 30% of adults aged 55 or above don’t have a will with 9% having no intention of writing one in their lifetime. When asked why no will had been written, 26% thought they didn’t have enough assets or wealth to warrant it. This was followed by the belief that there’s plenty of time to write a will (23%), not wanting to think or talk about death (15%), or deal with solicitors (8%). Concerningly, 14% said they simply don’t want to pay for a will.

Although 41% weren’t worried about the repercussions of a missing will, 27% were concerned that loved ones would be left with lots of paperwork to deal with, while 23% thought their estate might not be divided up as they’d like. Similarly, 18% worried that their estate would take longer to resolve, and 15% thought the absence of a will could cause unnecessary arguments.

Of those who’d written a will, 55% had done so via a solicitor and 16% had written a will themselves – 6% on a piece of paper and the rest used an online will writing service. Almost two-thirds (61%) of those who’ve written their own will, didn’t seek legal or financial advice at any point during the process.

“It may feel like there’s many reasons not to make a will, whether that’s having time on your side, not having ‘enough’ wealth to pass on, costs you could do without, or unfounded assumptions that your estate will be divided by equally without a will in place,” said Stacey Love, Technical Manager for Tax, Trusts & Estate Planning at Canada Life.

However, she highlighted that it’s important to “look beyond the short-term pain of having to think and talk about your own mortality so loved ones don’t have to worry about or deal with a huge additional burden, if the worst were to happen.”

For those who’ve already written a will, Stacey emphasised the importance of reviewing this document regularly, especially after major life events such as divorce. “You should also consider adding what you’d like to happen with your digital assets if you haven’t already […] with around 95% of us owning at least one digital asset, it’s becoming increasingly important to include your social media profiles, smart phone, and subscriptions as part of your legacy planning,” she added.

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