Making a will 'reduces emotional strain'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Making a will can help to alleviate stress and reduce the emotional strain of the death of a loved one. But despite the obvious benefits of doing so, the majority of people in the UK do not have a will.

Research shows 61 per cent of UK adults are still without a will. The figure for over-65s is more concerning, with a quarter (24 per cent) of this age group failing to have set out how they would like their estate distributed, according to the study from Standard Life.

Julie Hutchison, head of technical insight at Standard Life, notes that writing a will can be a difficult thing to do. "But the reality is if you were to die without a will the emotional strain on your family, friends and loved ones could far outweigh the time and money spent in sorting your will out in advance," she adds.

The study also found that only a quarter (27 per cent) of adults with children in the household have an up-to-date will, while 78 per cent of people who are living as married are still without a will.

Couples who are not married or in civil partnership do not have the same legal protection as married couples if they die without a will in place.

"If one were to die, the money could be passed onto their parents, or family member before their partner," explains Ms Hutchison. "This can of course lead to unnecessary legal complications and emotional hardships that can be easily avoided."

Three out ten (31 per cent) of the respondents currently without a will claim the main reason is they just have not got round to doing it yet. Other reasons for not making will including people saying they do not have substantial enough assets or that they are too young. One in ten said they have never even thought about writing a will.

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Published on: April 5, 2012

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