Half of UK adults don’t have a will, study finds

Over half (51%) of UK adults have not written a will, nor are they in the process of writing one, Canada Life has found.

Research by the investment and protection firm revealed that this figure also includes 13% of people who state they have no intention to write a will in the future.

Canada Life also found that 30% of those aged 55 and over do not have a will while 9% of those who are 55 and over have not made a will and have no plans to.

The top reason for not making a will is the belief that not having enough assets or wealth to warrant creating one (26%), with others feeling that they have plenty of time to make a will (23%).

Other reasons include that an estate might take a long time to resolve (18%), and that it will create arguments (15%).

Furthermore, two in five (41%) said nothing worries them about not having a will.

For those that who have written a will, over half of UK adults had it written by a solicitor (55%) and around one in six (16%) have written a will themselves, with 6% on a piece of paper and the remainder via an online will writing service.

Almost two thirds (61%) of those who have written their own will did not seek legal or financial advice at any point in the process.

Technical manager for tax, trusts and estate planning at Canada Life, Stacey Love, said: "It may feel like there are many reasons not to make a will, whether that be having time on your side, not having ‘enough’ wealth to pass on, it being a cost you could do without or unfounded assumptions that your estate will be divided up equally and as you see fit, without a will in place.

"However, it’s important to look beyond the short-term pain of having to think and talk about your own mortality as writing a will, will inevitably mean a long-term gain for your loved ones, when they do not have to worry about or deal with a huge additional burden, if the worst happens."

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