It has been reported that there has been a ‘striking shift’ in the level of people either making or updating their wills in the wake of the pandemic.
A survey was conducted in June 2020 in which 7% of the respondents had made or updated their wills during the first UK lockdown. Although this may seem like a low number, it was reported in 2019 that 54% of the British public do not have a will. Therefore, when put into perspective, 7% is a large percentage.
Although this is a positive change, there remains an overwhelming majority of the UK public that do not have a will or have not updated their will. This is particular concerning as we are currently in the second wave of Covid-19 cases.
Notably one of the main reasons respondents gave in the survey conducted in June 2020 for not having a will was that they didn’t think they had anything of value to leave their loved ones, not finding the time or that they were too young to make a will.
When a person dies without leaving a will, their estate is divided up according to a set of strict rules, these rules are known as the ‘intestacy’ rules. Under these rules only married couples, civil partners or close relatives will be able to inherit or claim on an estate. This could mean that once you die, your loved ones may not receive what you would have wished from your estate and they may also be faced with a large tax bill that could have been reduced with the correct estate planning.
Therefore, it is important that you have a will to ensure that your estate is divided up as you would have wished. Your solicitor will also be able to discuss estate planning with you so that you can ensure your will is written in a tax efficient way so your loved ones receive as much of your estate as possible when you pass.
If you need advice on writing a Will or to speak to a solicitor who specialises in Wills, Trusts & Probate, please call 0845 287 0939 or send your enquiry through our online contact form.