41% of us don’t have a will

Research by Stipendium, the platform that simplifies life’s complex events, has revealed that 41% of us haven’t prepared a will to detail who will inherit our estate in the event we pass away, with over a third also not realising that marriage will invalidate any previous will created.

A will is a legal document that provides clear instructions on how your estate should be distributed once you die and while death may not be a particularly nice eventuality to plan for, failing to have a will in place can be extremely problematic. 

Despite this, a survey commissioned by Stipendium found that as many as 41% of UK adults hadn’t yet formed a will. It’s relatively easy to do and a DIY will can be created online for as little as £30, although a more formal route will cost you roughly £80, with joint wills costing around £150.

Creating a will can be fairly straightforward, as long as you’re over 18, do so voluntarily, in sound body and mind and in the presence of two adult witnesses,

But why do we do it?

Well, Stipendium’s research shows that ensuring our children or other dependents are provided for financially is the driving reason for most. Preventing family disputes over who is owed what also ranked high, as did protecting a non-married partner as they don’t automatically benefit in the same way a husband or wife would. 

Minimising inheritance tax and ensuring a guardian is named for children also ranked high, while safeguarding the family home, family pet and supporting a charitable cause are less of a driving factor. 

Creating a will due to a recent marriage ranked as the least important reason and Stipendium has found a lack of knowledge on the rules around existing wills could come back to bite us in this respect. 

While it’s the last thing on your mind during the honeymoon, it’s important to know that when you get married, any existing will created is null and void. However, as many as 34% of UK adults are unaware of this fact, meaning they could be without a will, without realising it. 

But why else should you make a will?

If you should pass away without a will, your estate will be distributed under the rules of intestacy, which means you’ll have little control over who gets what. 37% of us aren’t aware of these rules but it essentially means that anyone who is not classified as an immediate family member in the eyes of the law, may be excluded from a share of your estate. 

This can cause real problems and cost a lot of time and money to resolve. It can take just 20 minutes to create a will with Stipendium and their Brace product allows you to make unlimited changes for life, saving you legal fees in the process.

For more info on your will related questions, check out these frequently asked questions and answers.

Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, commented:

“Creating a will can be a scary prospect, but it’s a necessary one to ensure your legacy is protected and your estate is distributed correctly when you do pass away. 

It can be hard to know where to start, which is why we’ve taken it one step at time, breaking the process down into simple step-by-step instructions, delivered in plain English, with help at every step of the way. 

With the ability to make unlimited changes for life, creating a will with Brace is not only time efficient, but cost effective and so there’s no need to run the risk of not having a will at a time when household finances are stretched.” 

Data Tables

View the full data tables online here

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