Prudential and Unbiased.co.uk, the site that connects millions to advice, this week launched the eighth annual  ‘Write a Will Week’, with new research* which reveals  that 59 per cent of UK adults have not made a will.

When a Will is not in place, a deceased person’s estate is subject to intestacy laws, which may not reflect their final wishes.  Write a Will Week is part of the annual Tax Action campaign, which revealed that £4.6billion was due to be paid in unnecessary tax in 2016, including £595million in Inheritance Tax, some of which can be avoided through proper financial planning.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the younger generation who are least prepared, with only 17% of those aged 18-34 having a Will in place and only 29% of those aged 35-54.  Older people are more prepared, yet still 36% of people aged over 55 do not have a Will and risk dying intestate.

The most common reason people gave for not yet having a will was simply that they are putting it off until they are older (23 per cent), but 16% said they didn’t think they would have enough left to be worth passing on when they die. Other reasons for not having a Will in place include it never having occurred to them (13%) and assuming that their estate will automatically go to the right person when they die (11%).

Les Cameron, tax specialist at Prudential, said: “Whether you have a will in place or not is one of the things that will be at the forefront of any financial planner’s mind. It’s important to have an up-to-date will to ensure that your estate passes to those you want it to, as tax efficiently as possible, when you die.  Trusts are often created in wills to control an estate beyond death, perhaps due to complicated family circumstances or when considering the financial position of the beneficiaries. Making a will can range from being a fairly simple to a very complex area of financial planning and an adviser can work together with a solicitor to make sure you have the right will in place for your personal circumstances.”

To find a local solicitor or financial adviser to help organise your will, go to www.unbiased.co.uk and enter your postcode.

New findings from Endsleigh’s 2016 Student Survey show that many parents are in the dark about their child’s spending habits, as more than a quarter (28%) believe their child never uses an overdraft, when in reality, less than 2% of students surveyed said they never use the facility.

The study of over 4,300 students and parents also reveals a majority (70%) of parents believe their child does not have a credit card in their first year of studying, despite 94% of students saying they do own one. And those who have a credit card make good use of it – over half (58%) of students in this group said they use it always or regularly.

Likewise, students are failing to budget properly, with over a quarter (26%) admitting their first student loan instalment lasted less than a month, whilst almost two-thirds (60%) of students admitted it only lasted a couple of months. The first loan payment is usually made just a few days after registration in move-in week.

Two out of five (41%) parents admit money management is their main concern for their children’s first year of university; and the majority (70%) believe their child also worries about finances. Although managing their money ranks high on many (44%) students’ list of concerns, it comes second after achieving academic success, followed by applying for jobs after graduation (40%).

To add further potential worry, the survey finds UK households are hit by £683.30 of unexpected costs when a student goes to university. Food is the highest of these – for almost a third of students and a quarter of parents; followed by course book costs which took nearly a fifth of students and a quarter of parents by surprise.  After food and course book costs, the price of travelling to and from university was unexpectedly costly for over one in ten students and one in five parents.

Younger people are more willing to buy a home prone to safety, flood or crime risks in order to get on the housing ladder, new research from Aviva reveals, as the ‘ideal’ home is replaced with what people can afford.

According to the findings, a third of would-be homebuyers aged 34 and under say they would buy a home in a high crime area (34% for both 18-24s and 25-34s). Across all age groups, only 19% would do the same, falling to just 7% of those aged 55 and above.

Despite widespread coverage of damage caused by flooding in recent years, almost half of 18-24s  and a third of 25-34s would consider living in a flood-risk area, compared to 23% across all age groups, and only 8% of those aged 55 and above.

Anxiety over being able to afford a property could be leading younger buyers to make sacrifices when it comes to the safety and location of their home. Previous research from Aviva highlights the continued importance of homeownership in the UK, with four fifths (79%) of people agreeing becoming a homeowner was important to them. However, a quarter (27%) fear they will never be able to afford to buy a property.

It’s been a good week so far for borrowers with two new best buy deals launched in the last couple of days.

Tesco Bank is now offering a credit card with 28 months interest free on purchases – a great option if you’ve got a major purchase planned and want to spread the cost without it hitting you in the pocket.

On the personal loans front, TSB has made an aggressive move by lowering the interest rate on its loans of between £7,500 to £14,999 to just 3,2% APR representative. This is equal lowest in the UK alongside Ikano Bank and on a loan of £7,500 over 3 years will cost you £218.62 per month to repay.

Yorkshire Building Society has today called on the Government to consider reforming stamp duty land tax to make it paid by sellers not buyers, removing the tax burden entirely for more than 225,000 people getting on the housing ladder every year.

Changing property tax rules in this way would save first-time buyers in the UK excluding Scotland an average of £3,791, with Londoners saving the most at an average of £13,171.

Based on putting away £250 per month, this equates to the average first time buyer avoiding 15 months of saving, or 4 years and 4 months in London.

Yorkshire Building Society, one of the country’s biggest mortgage lenders, will outline the case for reforming stamp duty in a formal submission to the Government today on what should be included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement due in November.

A total of 225,200 first-time buyers paid stamp duty between June 2015 and June 2016, having purchased a property above the £125,000 minimum threshold, representing 75% of all first time buyers.

The reform would lead to an additional 16,000 additional property sales in the first year, including 6,000 first time buyers, based on a 2% increase in transactions.

New build properties for owner occupation could be exempted from the rules, ensuring the supply of homes is not prevented by the additional tax.

Andrew McPhillips, Chief Economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said:

“More than 200,000 first time buyers paid stamp duty last year and removing this tax burden from them would give the younger generation a major leg up the property ladder. This would be felt most of all in London where on average our members pay a staggering £13,171 in stamp duty for a first home.

“The benefits would not only be felt by those looking to get on the property ladder as anyone moving up it would be better off too.”

Car insurance costs are continuing to race ahead rising 13.5% in the past year to an average £788, new research from insurance market research experts Consumer Intelligence shows.

A combination of another rise in Insurance Premium Tax to 10% – which takes effect on October 1st – and increased claims is driving the rise in premiums.

But Consumer Intelligence’s figures – used by the Government’s Office for National Statistics to calculate official inflation statistics – show huge differences across the country and between age groups.

Drivers in the North West and London are paying up to 50% more than the national average – the average bill is £1,177 after a 17.3% increase in the North West and £1,068 in London after a 16.7% rise.

Younger drivers are paying the highest bills – average premiums for under-25s are £1,831 although prices are rising slightly slower than average at 9.4%.

Older drivers are seeing higher price rises at 15.3% but their average annual bill as calculated by the five cheapest premiums is just £348.

Younger drivers are seeing some benefit from telematics – so-called black box technology – which rewards safer driving with lower prices. Around 55% of the most competitive premiums for under-25s come from telematics policies. Just 8% of the best deals for those aged 25-49 come from telematics.

Consumer Intelligence’s data shows the cheapest place to insure a car is Scotland where average premiums were £562 which is around £40 cheaper than the second lowest; Wales at £605.

Ian Hughes from Consumer Intelligence said: “The latest increase in Insurance Premium Tax which takes effect next month as well as rising claims are driving the rise in premiums.

“We are seeing a real acceleration in shopping around and all customers need to ensure they are receiving the best value for money from their insurer which should be easier as providers need to make it clear what last year’s premium was when they send renewals.

“Under-25s who pay the highest average premiums at £1,831 need to seriously look at black box technology as a way of limiting price rises but can take some comfort from the fact that prices are still lower than they have been.”

Over half (54%) of students have lost personal belongings from their university accommodation according to new research by Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance.  The most common items which have been lost include phones (44%), jewellery (33%) and clothes (28%).

Technological appliances remain the most popular items amongst students with 91% owning both a smartphone and laptop. Other popular technological items include iPads/tablets (47%), cameras (37%), iPods (35%), games consoles (34%) and E-readers (15%).

However despite high-tech items becoming increasingly common in student accommodation, one in three students (33%) does not have their possessions covered by a home insurance policy, and a further 14% don’t know if their possessions are covered or not. Just 12% of students living away from home say they have cover on their parents’ home insurance policy.

Further analysis by Sainsbury’s Bank shows that it would cost students on average £1,566 to replace a suite of popular tech items; comprising  a laptop (£574), PlayStation 4 (£300), digital camera (£189), tablet (£171); smartphone (£154), E-reader (£125) and MP3 and digital media player (£53).

Alan Sanderson of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance commented: “Having the latest technology is important for students to keep up with their studies, but can be expensive. Parents should make sure their home insurance policy provides contents cover for their children’s student accommodation as this doesn’t need to come at an additional cost, although jewellery and other valuable items may require additional cover.”

Sainsbury’s  Bank Home Insurance, which offers protection for student home contents as part of its regular home insurance cover, is encouraging parents and students to protect their possessions against burglary, fire and vandalism. The policy applies to those in rented accommodation as well as halls of residence.  It also offers an additional option for personal possessions which can cover jewellery, sports equipment and other valuables when away from the home.

With the academic year now underway, analysis by Rplan.co.uk, the online investment platform, shows that new parents should be looking to invest  up to £260.55 per month to cover the cost of sending a baby to university for a three-year course in 18 years’ time.

rplan.co.uk estimates that the amount needed in 2034 will be £74,307.08, assuming current fees of £9,000 and annual living expenses of £8,000 adjusted for 2% annual inflation.

The analysis also shows the importance saving early – reaching the £57,441.79 needed in five years’ time would require much higher contributions of up to £888.29 per month.

By comparison, the average easy access ISA rate at present is just 1.11% while the best easy access savings account pays 1.55% a year. Using these rates, parents would have to save £310.96 and £298.58 a month respectively to reach the £74,307.08 target by 2034.

The calculations assume an annualised return of 3% a year after charges. A medium risk portfolio is designed to produce investment returns to beat inflation over the medium to longer term, ie greater than five years. A higher risk portfolio would offer the potential to achieve a higher rate of return and therefore less contributions but savers would have to be comfortable with more volatility.

A spokesman for rplan, said: “The cost of studying at university has increased dramatically over the last few years and many parents or grandparents want to help contribute. Parents and grandparents that are prepared to invest at an early stage can typically take more risk. However, even with an 18-year time horizon parents may not feel comfortable with a high-risk approach to investing for their children’s education. Investments typically offer the potential for better returns than cash, though, even when a medium or lower risk approach is selected.

“Saving monthly helps to diversify risk over time – it also allows investors to take advantage of downturns in the market by providing the opportunity to buy investments at cheaper valuations over the long term, known as pound-cost averaging.  Our analysis also shows how allowing as much time as possible for investments to grow is key: shortening the time to invest can have a major impact on just how much needs to be saved each month.”

The AA has extended the 0% period for balance transfers on its Dual Credit Card to 26 months from 20 months.

This change makes the Dual Credit Card the most competitive of its kind, offering interest free periods of over two years on both purchases and balance transfers.

Michael Johnson, Director of Financial Services at the AA said: “By bringing the balance transfer term in line with the purchases free period, the Dual Credit Card is now a truly matched proposition.

“The Dual Card gives cardholders the best of both worlds, providing a great incentive for day-to-day purchasing whilst leaving the customer open to making balance transfers as well.”

Thousands of students have now received their A-level results and for many it signals the start of university, which can be an expensive few years! But, while there are hefty debts involved, students can save the pennies elsewhere. Flubit’s Savings Champion, Carla Rio Alves shares her tips for snapping up the best deals, without damaging the bank balance

1. Get a student card

One of the perks to being a student is that you’re eligible for discounts in most online retailers and high-street shops. You can snap up even more discounts with an NUS Extra card. Although it costs £12 a year, you’ll soon make your money back with the 150 offers and discounts available.

2.Get discounts when buying the essentials online

Leaving home for the first time will mean you’ll need a heap of essentials from household goods to entertainment – the list is never ending. On top of this you’ll need the uni must haves including books and stationary. Don’t get caught out by paying over the odds, instead snap up bargains by shopping online through websites like Flubit.com – where you could save up to 15% on the original price you found at Amazon.

3. Attend Freshers Fairs

Make sure you check out the uni Freshers fair. Not only will you meet new people, but you can also pick up freebies, money saving tips and local discount vouchers too. At some fairs, retailers attend to attract students, so that often means even more offers and perks!

4. Check out student websites

There are many websites created solely for students. Student Money Saver, Save the Student and Student Beans are great hubs where you can find useful information on anything and everything student related from the latest offers and discounts to help with budgeting and finances.

5. Purchase a Railcard

At some point, like any student, you’ll want to go home and see your family – but doing so can be expensive. Make sure you invest in 16-25 Railcard, it’s designed for young people and gives you a third off of rail journeys across the UK. Although costing £30 a year, you’ll soon make your money back. The card also gives you access to offers and competitions, including West-End theatre discounts and holiday offers.

6. Don’t get caught out on bills

If you’ve never lived away from home before managing household bills can be daunting. Make sure you keep track of when bills are due to avoid incurring penalty changes from late payments. Also worth checking out comparison sites to make sure you’re not paying over the odds on your energy and electric bills. The money you save can be used on more exciting things!

7. Set yourself a budget

It may not sound exciting but it’s essential to set yourself a budget. You don’t want to be left at home whilst your friends are out having a good time just because you didn’t save enough money. Make sure you calculate both your incomings and outgoings. Once you know how much money you have left, you can spend it as you wish.

8. Join the gym, but without the hefty costs

Gym memberships can be expensive, so make sure to check out student deals or even better the university gym. Most gyms in university towns across the country will offer special student rates. Some will even offer a month by month contract rather than signing up for the entire year. It’s also worth checking to see whether your university has a gym that you could join – these tend to be much cheaper.

9. Find the best student current account

Now you’re at university, you’ll need to have a current account. Before making a decision, make sure you look around and open the account that meets your needs. Most banks have competitive deals, so don’t be afraid to ask what you can get. NatWest is currently offering students a National Express coach card, which gives you 1/3 off coach travel for 4 years. Santander is also offering a free 4-year 16-25 Railcard and an interest-free and fee-free arranged overdraft with its 1|2|3 Student Current Account.

10. Take lunch with you

While most universities will have a canteen and bars on site, buying food everyday will really eat into your budget. Make lunch and take it to class, you certainly won’t be the only person doing so.