A survey by Which? consumer group has revealed that of 2,078 people asked, 61% did not have a will. This is the equivalent of 31 million of the UK population.
The common reasons cited by those without a will were;
- They had nothing worth inheriting (38%)
- Writing a will had not occurred to them (20%)
- They are too busy (16%)
It is curious to see these statistics as it has also been reported that Citizen’s Advice have received a 120% increase over 6 years in people seeking advice from the charity for problems arising through loved ones dying without writing a will.
We have, in the past, covered some of the common myths surrounding wills including the idea that if you don’t make a will, your spouse will inherit everything automatically. However, in today’s world, a family set up can vary vastly from home to home. Cohabiting couples and divorced and remarried couples mean it’s not always straightforward where your assets should go once you have passed away.
These issues are not just restricted to those who feel they have “nothing worth inheriting” either. Celebrities like Rik Mayall, Amy Winehouse, Barry White, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix all died without leaving a will meaning that through the intestacy rules, their assets were left to people they may not have wished them to go to. In fact, the disputes arising following the death of pop singer Prince have been so complicated his estate has yet to be fully distributed more than two years after his death! It is thought that once legal and other fees have been paid, there will be very little left.
So, whether you feel you have nothing to hand down to your family and friends when you pass away, or if have been too busy to think about it, now is the time to reconsider. By taking the time to put your affairs in order now, you are ensuring your family do not have to deal with time-consuming and stressful conflicts after your death.
Having your will drawn up by Farleys’ experienced solicitors is an easy process where you will be guided throughout to ensure everything has been covered. To speak to a member of the private client team, please call 0845 287 0939 or email us.