Over half (60%) of UK adults are currently without a will, according to new research.

  • Over one in two UK adults still haven’t made a will.
  • Of the 60 per cent who have no will, over a fifth believe they don’t have enough assets to make it worthwhile.

The number of people without a will in the UK is at an all-time high, passing the previous peak in 2011. It means that over 31 million now run the risk of dying intestate and having their estate distributed solely according to intestacy law, which may not reflect their wishes.

With age comes wisdom!

Those aged 55 and over are three times more likely to have a will than those aged 18-34. However, even in this age group more than a third (37%) are still without one. The most striking figure however is from the 35-54 age group. This is the group most likely to have dependents and other major financial commitments such as mortgages, yet nearly three quarters have taken no steps to ensure their loved ones would inherit according to their wishes.

Age Percentage who have a will
55 + 63%
35 – 54 28%
18 – 34 16%

“I will make a will… but not yet.”

What excuses do people give for not having a will? over a quarter (26%) said they planned to make one later in life. Last year the figure was 23%, so the number saying ‘I’ll do it later’ is actually going up as time goes by!


Reason Rank
I plan to make a will when I’m older 1
I don’t think I will have any estate/assets left to be worth writing a will 2
It never occurred to me 3
I can’t afford the cost of setting up a will 4
I don’t know how to go about writing a will 5


One in ten (11%) said they were put off by the cost of writing a will. These respondents seemed unaware that it would cost their relatives far more to sort out their estate, if they were to die without a will.

The huge benefits of having a will, and the even bigger risks of not having one, should be far more widely known and talked about. People think a will is just for the end of their life, and it is of course – but who knows when that will be?

It’s clear that many people think they’re just not ‘rich enough’ and their estates not big enough to need a will. This ignores the fact that a will makes inheritance a far quicker process – do they really want to keep their loved ones waiting longer when that money might be badly needed? It also doesn’t take into account the complexity of modern families, which intestacy law simply doesn’t address. Children from previous marriages could end up receiving nothing at all.

People tend not to think about wills, because they don’t like to think about death. But what 60% of Brits should certainly think about is the headache and expense they will cause their families if they die intestate. At best, it will be inconvenient; at worst, it could trigger bitter disputes and lead to some loved ones missing out entirely.

It’s so easy to prevent this from happening – a quick consultation with a Will & Estate Planner is all it would take!

Your will is your last chance to make your mark on the world. Whether giving sentimental items to family and friends, or leaving charitable gifts, your final wishes help to shape how people will remember you. No-one should miss out on this chance to leave a proper legacy.

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