As many as 64% of adults in the UK are leaving their final wishes to chance by failing to prepare a will, Macmillan Cancer Support has warned. Worryingly, this includes 42% of people over the age of 55.
As it publishes the results of its new research, the charity warns that without an up-to-date will, the law could supersede a person’s final wishes and leave treasured possessions, money, property, and even dependent children, with someone they may not have chosen.
The research also revealed a range of what it calls other ‘will blunders’, with a fifth of existing wills still including an ex-partner, not yet including children or grandchildren, not including a new relationship or including someone that they plan to remove. As many as one in ten people with wills admitted they were planning to update them to include children and grandchildren, but had not yet got around to it.
Ideally, wills should be updated every five years and after any major life changes, yet Macmillan found that a quarter of wills have not been updated for at least five years.
Previous research from Macmillan found that people’s top reasons for not having a will included them having ‘just never got round to it’ (41%), as well as the belief that they don’t have anything valuable to leave (26%) and that they don’t need to write one until they’re older (21%).
“The start of the year is the perfect time to get your affairs in order and make arrangements for your loved ones and the causes closest to you,” said Craig Fordham, Director of Legacies at Macmillan Cancer Support.
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