Millennials cite pandemic for urge to write wills

Millennials cite pandemic for urge to write wills

More US millennials have been writing wills in case they die unexpectedly and say the COVID-19 pandemic had spurred them on to do so, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Compared to 18 percent in 2019, more than a quarter (27 percent) of 18-34-year-olds had a will in 2021. In addition, this age group is also encouraging their parents to ensure they have a will/that it is up to date so that all family members have peace of mind.

Research carried out by and LegalZoom showed that millennials are worried about what might happen should they become ill, and because the virus has killed people of all ages.

In case of illness

The Wall Street Journal featured investment advisor Ryan Bayonnet, 29, who decided to write his will recently to fit in with the career plans of his wife, Bricey. Although the couple do not yet have children, Bricey plans to become an emergency room physician and many of those in the medical profession have been struck down with the illness.

Ryan said he knew he had to make a will when his wife asked if he would “want to be put on a ventilator” should he catch COVID-19.

Another millennial quoted in the article, Kimberley Onsager, 38, said she felt vulnerable without a will in place and created hers for $100 using an online service.

Older people and wills

While there has been a substantial increase in the number of younger people creating wills, in the US, the majority of people who do have a will in place are older.

People who die without a will are referred to as being intestate and it is then the state that decides how their assets are divided, which can mean people’s wishes not being carried out. While younger people might lack substantial assets, they may still want to consider issues such as who they might want to give artwork to or setting up guardianship for pets.

In the UK, Farewill, the UK’s largest will writing service provider, found that there had been a 267 percent increase in the number of people who had written online or telephone wills using the company’s services in 2020 compared to the year before.

The biggest increase came from younger age groups – 300 percent more millennials and Gen Zs writing their wills, with the Gen Z increase up by 465 percent, though there were massive increases across every generation.

Finders International have a Missing Will service . If you would like further information on this service, you can contact us via email: [email protected] or telephone: +44 (0) 20 7490 4935.

This article was submitted to be published by Finders International as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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Finders International were established in 1997 by Managing Director Danny Curran. We trace missing heirs and beneficiaries to Estates, property, funds and assets worldwide. We also provide a range of Legal Support services and International Asset services including overseas bankruptcy services and Medallion Signature Guarantees. Within the private sector, we work with numerous Solicitors, Accountants, Corporate or State Trustees and financial institutions. In the public sector we assist local authorities, coroners and others in tracing next of kin. For two years running, we have been awarded ‘Best UK Probate Research Firm’ for 2019 and 2020 at the UK Probate Research awards. Our MD is known as the industry spokesman with over 100 media contributions; Forbes Magazine, The Times, UK nationals, ITV’s This Morning to list a few. Our aim is to positively promote the probate research profession. We complete hundreds of pro-bono cases every year, helping with stories of reunions of family separated by war or forced adoption and reuniting people with family heirlooms such as their ancestors lost war medals or long-lost books. We are also a founding member of IAPPR, the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, Genealogists and Heir Hunters which aims to provide a single, authoritative voice for global probate research industry professionals and has an impressive list of international member companies.    

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