Is enough being done to encourage people to write a Will?
11 September, 2017
A recent poll carried out by First4Lawyers has found that 85% of people surveyed do not have a Will. This is a surprisingly high figure, and we were intrigued to discover why so many were without such an important document. We asked 1,000 people without a Will what their reasons were for not having one in place. The majority of people (56%) said that they ‘hadn’t got round to it yet’. The largest age group for this was 45+, an age group that you would assume have had plenty of opportunity to get round to sorting a Will.
So why are so many people putting off getting one? Is there not enough knowledge surrounding Wills? Are people afraid of the cost? We looked into this further.
When asked their reasons for not having a Will, in addition to those saying they hadn’t got around to it, many said that they ‘didn’t see the need right now’ (40%), whilst 18% said they ‘don’t believe [they] can afford to get one’. In addition to these reasons, it appears that many are unaware of the costs involved, or even of the need to have a Will at all.
Wills are, of course, not compulsory, but having one in place is likely to make things much easier for your family, in what will already be a difficult time. It’s understandable that no-one wants to think of their own mortality, and this may well be one of the reasons that so many have not got round to creating a Will.
Our survey also revealed that almost 80% of people are unaware that leaving a gift to charity in your Will reduces inheritance tax. If so few are aware of this, what are the chances that there are many other misconceptions surrounding Wills?
The fact that almost 20% of people believe that they cannot afford to get a Will at the moment suggests that there is a general ignorance around costs and even how to make a Will.
In 2015 the government launched a campaign to encourage people to make a Will, with the slogan: ‘Choice not Chance’. The aim was to encourage people to plan ahead and think about every eventuality, including their death, but the message clearly didn’t get through to many , The fact our survey showed such a high percentage of people without a Will suggests maybe the campaign didn’t go far enough, or wasn’t high profile for a long enough period of time. Either way, it has had a limited impact.
It’s clear more needs to be done to raise awareness and get across the benefits of making a Will. There should be more information out there, arming people with the full facts so they can make an informed decision easily.
As a result, we have put together a number of information guides on Wills, which should address many of the questions you have surrounding Wills.
Wills don’t have to be expensive and time-consuming, our solicitors have no hidden fees and are specialists in getting the job done quickly and correctly, taking the hassle away from you. If you are interested in getting a Will, contact us today or fill in our enquiry form.