Most adults either don’t have a will in place or have given no thought to writing one, according to a study.

YouGov polled 2,089 over-18s on behalf of insurance company Royal London, with 60% admitting they have no will and a third (33%) haven’t considered writing one.

77% of cohabiting couples have not written a will, despite the surviving partner having no legal entitlement to inherit an estate if their partner was to die.

A valid and up-to-date will ensures an estate is distributed according to the deceased’s wishes, while also potentially reducing the inheritance tax liability for the beneficiaries.

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“Writing a will gives a person the assurance that their loved ones will not just be left with nothing once they die. It is important to write a will in order to avoid any conflict and further grief between family and friends due to the risks that could arise. If the person had a partner but was not married this could cause problems as the partner would not be legally entitled to anything left behind without a will. Also, it could mean that assets like land, money and even objects could be left in the hands of those undeserving, going against the wishes of the person.

Furthermore, the government can claim a deceased persons assets left behind, or pass it on to long lost relatives if a will hasn’t been made and they have no family for it to be passed on to. This could have been alternatively given to close friends or donated to charity. On the basis of making a will, the person should keep it up to date to avoid any complications when they die as assets could end up being distributed in a way that the person would not like it to, such as being left with ex-partners.”