Nearly four in ten over 55’s having no will in place

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.

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