Will Aid, the charity will-making scheme, has published the results of its 2008 survey into wills and will-making.
Alarmingly it has found that 60% of adults have not written their Will. Of these, 50% say they simply haven’t got around to it, with 26% believing they are too young and almost 23% thinking they have no possessions or money to leave.
Ironically, 17% of these people have themselves experienced problems with an inheritance.
It found that the most effective prompt for writing a Will is the death of a loved one (27.7%), followed by the birth of children or grandchildren (23.5%) and pressure from a partner (21.2%).
The message about the importance of leaving a legacy to charity still has some way to go, according to the research. Only 4.5% of respondents had promised a legacy to charity in their Will with a further 10.2% “intending” to do so.
Those under 24 years old were the most likely to intend to leave a legacy to charity (18.20%) but the 25-34 year olds are the most likely never to have thought of it. Encouragingly, the over-55s are very aware of legacies, with only 16.5% saying that they have never thought of it.
Over 7% of people from the East have already left a legacy and over 13% in the South intend to do so. Respondents from Scotland are most likely to believe that their loved ones should receive all their assets.
Will Aid is a partnership between solicitors and nine leading UK charities – ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Help the Aged, NSPCC, Save the Children UK, Sight Savers International, SCIAF and Trocaire.
It’s annual Will Making Month begins next month.
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