Covid-19 only encouraged 4% to make Wills

Covid-19 only encouraged 4% to make Wills

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had some knock on consequences, but with record numbers of death, we were also seeing an influx in the number of people making Wills as they began to set their affairs in order in case the worst happened.

Recent research conducted and released by IRN Research entitled: UK Wills & Probate Market 2020: Consumer Research Report has revealed that only 4% of those surveyed cited coronavirus as the reason for them making a Will.

Given the current climate, I think everyone would think that this figure would have been a lot higher.  Although in a way linking in to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic 67% of those surveyed said they made a will as it gave them “peace of mind”.

The research cites that:

“The UK adult population (18 years and over) is around 53 million so, if 36% have a will, this equates to around 19 million people.

“The percentage with a will in the 65 and over age group is well above the survey average at 79% and it is 57% in the 55 to 64 age group. Then, ownership levels drop quickly in younger age groups, for example the percentage is only 35% in the 45 to 54 age group.

“Many adults in younger age groups have other priorities and, unlike their older counterparts, many have not built up the assets, possessions and money which they wish to pass on to others when they die.”

I reached out to my Private Client and Will Writing Practitioners on LinkedIn to see what their thoughts were on this statistic, and did they think it was correct?

Claire Potter, who specialises in probate, commented:

“Perhaps people have been reluctant to plan because there’s still been an element of denial or blind optimism even in the midst of a pandemic? Planning based around emotionally uncomfortable matters is something that people, in my experience have always been somewhat reluctant to do.”

Lyndzey Smissen, Head of Wills and Probate at Paytons Solictors LLP, wrote:

“Seemed to be much high in my area, younger clients with underlying conditions definitely seemed to be more motivated to do their Wills than in previous years.”

Claire Miller, Probate Researcher, agreed with Lyndzey and added:

“I would have expected the figure to be higher, yes. As Lindzey said it seems to be different in various areas of the country.”

Nicola Combe MSWW, MBA, Will Writer, commented:

“I think it’s a little higher than that – but still not enough!!”

Charlotte Ponder LLB (Hons) TEP, Legal Director at Countrywide, commented:

“It may have been a reason but probably not ‘the’ reason – I would say anecdotally more people said they were finally getting round to it as they had more time to do so, so sort paperwork, put their affairs in order etc.”

Agreeing with Charlotte, Emma Baddaley, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Inheritance Data, pointed out:

“We are all stuck at home with access to our never dealt with paperwork in sight!”

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