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Will writing surge driven by pandemic

One in four (25%) UK adults have created their will in the past year

 

Since the first UK lockdown, over a quarter (26%) of UK adults have been prompted into action or consideration on their will, research from Canada Life today reveals1.   Over two fifths (44%) of UK adults have now written a will, up from 41% since July 2020,2 with a quarter of these having created their will in the last year.

 

Over the last year, 4.9m UK adults have written a will, 5.5m have updated their will to change or update recipients of financial assets, 4.4m have engaged a solicitor to write a will and 7.8m have started to think about a will.3

 

This surge in will writing however, still leaves over 29.5 million people (56%) without a will.4 Of those without a will, a third (34%) said the pandemic had resulted in them starting the process of writing a will or considering writing a will.

 

Neil Jones, tax and estate planning specialist, Canada Life said: “As a society, we often shy away from talking about the state of our personal and financial affairs, which can make wills and estate planning a taboo subject for many. But while no one likes to think about their own mortality, it’s extremely encouraging to see that the global pandemic has prompted people into action.

 

“Having a will in place not only provides people with financial security and peace of mind, meaning their families and loved ones will be provided for should the unexpected happen, but can also help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might be payable on the value of the assets they leave behind.”

 

A third (32%) of UK adults have updated their will, with their reasons mainly based around loved ones: three in ten (29%) wanted to give their loved ones security and a similar number (28%) wanted to ensure their loved ones benefitted. Other reasons for changing a will included:

  • I am worried I may pass away sooner than expected - 17%
  • The pandemic has made me reflect on mortality - 16%
  • I wanted to ensure charities benefited - 14%
  • I have been ill in the past year - 8%

 

  1. Source: Research among 2002 UK adults conducted by Opinium Research between 9-12 March 2021.
  2. Source: Research among 2,002 UK adults conducted by Opinium Research between 14-17 July 2020.
  3. These figures have been calculated using UK population stats from ONS. Total UK population is 66,796,907 (released summer 2020), of which 79% of UK population are adults (mid-2019 calculations) resulting in 52.7m UK adults. Percentages from the Opinium Research have been converted into values using 52.7m as the total number of UK adults.
  4. This figure has been calculated using UK Population stats from ONS. Total UK population is 66,796,907 (released summer 2020), of which 79% of UK population are adults (mid-2019 calculations) resulting in 52.7m UK adults. 56% of 52.7m UK adults = 29.5m