According to research by the Law Society, the first lockdown of 2020 prompted 7% of respondents to make or update their wills. Despite the increase, 59% of those surveyed said they didn’t have a will in any form, and just 29% had an up-to-date will which reflects their current intentions.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to reflect on their mortality, especially those working in the front line, or with pre-existing health conditions. Other people simply want the peace of mind that they won’t leave their loved ones in a difficult position after their death, whatever age or state of health they may be in.
If you pass away without a will in place, then strict intestacy rules will divide up your estate amongst your next of kin, regardless of the closeness of the relationship. People with partners, but who are unmarried or not in a civil partnership, are especially vulnerable to leaving their loved ones with nothing.
The Law Society survey found that 20% of respondents thought that they didn’t have time to make a will. However, this is a misconception unless you have a particularly complicated estate.
David Greene, president of the Law society in England and Wales, said: “Writing a legally valid will with the help of an expert solicitor ensures people’s estates are inherited exactly as they would choose and can prevent a whole raft of problems landing on loved ones when they are grieving.”
Mr Greene also added that people should also consider making end of life provisions when arranging their will. It is advisable to put in place plans for a lasting power of attorney, which allows trusted friends or family members to make financial and welfare decisions on your behalf, should you lose mental capacity.
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