A reluctance to talk about death means many over 55s could be missing out on the opportunity to sort out their finances before they die.
As a result, they could end up leaving problems for their loved ones to resolve and a possible tax bill.
According to life-curation website, Wishlockr, just 6% of over 55s have consulted an independent financial adviser for help with estate planning. Of those that hadn’t, just under a third (30%) said this was because they were not comfortable discussing their own death. This equates to a substantial 5.5 million people.
Exacerbating potential problems, the research reveals that only half of over 55s have written a will, a figure that rises to over three quarters (76%) among people aged between 45 and 54.
In many cases over 55s hadn’t even discussed their wishes with their families, with over half (57%) admitting that they were yet to have ‘final finance’ discussions with loved ones.
Talking about final finances involves sharing details of all accounts, investments, insurances policies and personal possessions. Piecing together this information after a loved one has died can be difficult and only adds to the stress of a grieving family.
Wishlockr provides users with an online platform to document all their assets and specify their wishes for what happens after their death – for example any preferences for their funeral. This information can then be shared electronically with close family or friends.
Iain Nicholson, a financial planner that launched the website says: “The Wishlockr concept was born out of our own family experience, when my dad was reluctant to discuss his financial arrangements, let alone his end-of-life wishes.
“Grieving is hard enough without the drawn-out process of locating all assets and liabilities; we just thought there had to be a better way make it a bit easier for people to deal with the sensitive area of estate planning. We hope that Wishlockr will be good news for the British public and for financial advisers.”