Failure to leave a will can lead to family feuds

26 May, 2015

An estimated 1 million Brits have had a serious family argument after a loved-one has passed away with no will in place, according to new research by Macmillan Cancer Support. Of those that said that they’d had a family feud over a will, nearly a fifth said that it had gone on to break up the family.

Furthermore a third of people who said that they have promised something to a loved one have not actually covered this in a will – which means that a further 5 million people are potentially risking family arguments in the future.

The survey of 2,000 adults coincides with Dying Matters Awareness Week (18 -24 May) and shows that whilst people would describe themselves as organised (93%) and say they are comfortable talking about their dying wishes (44%), they are actually putting off important tasks like will writing and talking about their own end of life plans, leaving many families in turmoil following the death of a loved one.

With 59% of Brits admitting to not having a will, the top reasons given were having ‘just never got round to it’ (34%), the belief that they don’t have anything valuable to leave (31%) and that they don’t think they need to write one until they’re older (20%).

Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging the nation to use Dying Matters Awareness Week as a prompt to finally start discussing their end of life wishes with loved ones, and move writing a will to the top of their to-do list.

Dani Adams, Legacy Manager at Macmillan, says: ‘We want to encourage people to look to the future in a positive way. Whilst people do not have to leave a gift to Macmillan to use our discounted will writing service, we hope that people will consider leaving a legacy, as another way to help us ensure no one faces cancer alone. With estimates showing that by 2020 one in two people will get cancer in their lifetime, it’s about making sure that there will be support for their loved ones in the future, should they ever face cancer.’