Parents and cohabiting couples are being urged to make sure they have a will in place to prevent unforeseen outcomes if the worst were to happen.
Research from mutual insurer Royal London has found that three in five adults (60%) don’t have a will, a staggeringly high proportion.
Cohabiting couples meanwhile, are less likely to have written wills, with more than three quarters (77%) admitting to not having written one. However, this could put partners in a perilous position if their significant-other dies, as they will have no legal basis for a claim to anything left behind that isn’t in their name.
Parents of under 18s have also been found by Royal London to be at risk, with half (48%) saying they haven’t drawn up a will. Three in five parents (58%) of under 18s also admitted they haven’t chosen legal guardians in the event of their death. The risk of this is that children may not end up with grandparents or other loved ones, and could instead be fostered by the state.
Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson for Royal London, comments: “Writing a will may seem daunting and with everything else we should be thinking about, it becomes just another chore on the to-do list. It’s especially important for cohabitating couples to have a will, as the surviving partner does not automatically inherit any estate or possessions left behind.
“By having a will in place, your loved ones will be able to easily locate all your assets and carry out your wishes when you have gone. It’s also vital to take stock when you reach a milestone such as getting married or starting a family as these events can complicate your financial affairs further.”
Get a will during Will Aid Month
There are several ways to reduce the cost of arranging for a simple will to be drawn up or to update an existing will. Moneywise reported last month about Free Wills Month for the over 55s, while this month it’s Will Aid Month.
Will Aid is run by nine major UK charities that arrange for solicitors and legal firms across the country to provide will writing and updating services free of charge.
Solicitors agree to waive their fees for the service, however they invite those who sign up to make a suggested donation of £95 for a single basic will or £150 for a pair of basic mirror wills. The money doesn’t go towards the legal expenses but rather as donations to the charities that organise the service.
One caveat, however, is that Will Aid does state that if the solicitor finds a more complex will is appropriate for your circumstances, they can ask for a fee for the extra work. The charity says that this would be established in the first meeting.
For more information on Will Aid Month and to find a participating solicitor in your local area, visit https://www.willaid.org.uk/.