Latest research by Unbiased.co.uk reveals:
- Over 28 million of the UK adult population (58%) are currently without a will
- Yet one in ten UK adults without a will believe their estate will go to the right people automatically
- Nearly a third (32%) of over 55s do not have a will in place, while 64% of those aged 35 to 54 have not yet written a will
- 42% of UK adults have not thought about the impact of inheritance tax on the estate they wish to leave behind when they pass away
- When people start thinking about their estate, children and grandchildren are the top beneficiaries, but charities and pets are set to benefit too
Where there’s a will there’s a way
Procrastination remains the number one reason for not writing a will.
Nearly a third of those without a will (30%) stated that they plan to make one when they ‘get older’, while 11% said it never occurred to them and 21% felt that they didn’t have anything of value to leave behind.
Interestingly, 11% believe their estate will go to the right people automatically, yet dying without a will means their assets will be divided according to the rules of intestacy, which could leave stepchildren or unmarried partners in particular in a vulnerable position.
Although the average cost of getting a solicitor to write a will can be as low as £120 for singles and £200 for couples, 14% of UK adults said that they have not written a will yet because they are worried about the costs involved.
Almost 7% said they wanted to enjoy spending their savings while they are alive instead of saving them to pass on to future generations, while 8% of over 55s claimed they were superstitious and writing a will is tempting fate.
Impact of inheritance tax
If an estate exceeds the threshold for inheritance tax – currently £325,000 or £650,000 for married couples – individuals should consider including some tax planning in their will. Yet worryingly, 42% claim that they haven’t thought about the impact inheritance tax may have on their estate and 11% didn’t know that it could affect their estate.
Of the 39% of people who have considered inheritance tax planning, 20% have gifted assets to friends and family during their lifetime and 15% have placed their assets under trust to minimise the impact of inheritance tax.