Later life planning dying out

May 05, 2016
  • 60% of UK adults do not have a will and 91% do not have a funeral plan
  • Over half of wills in place could be invalid as they’ve never been updated
  • Over 65’s put off later life planning

Almost two thirds, (60 per cent) of UK adults do not have a will and could therefore be at risk of losing control over their estate if they die, according to a study released today by the Co-op.

The findings reveal that of the two fifths (40 per cent) of adults who do have a will, over half (55 per cent) have never updated the wills they put in place. As life events such as marriage, divorce and the death of a spouse can revoke a will, their wills could be ineffective meaning their estates will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy as opposed to their specific wishes. 

James Antoniou, Head of Wills, for the Co-op Legal Services said: 

“In order to have peace of mind that your wishes are clear about who you want to benefit from your estate, it is crucial that you take the right advice and put an effective will in place.

“Whilst the average age UK adults write a will is 42, It’s worrying that over half of UK adults who have wills in place haven’t updated them. Depending on the way the will has been drafted, a marriage, a divorce or the death of a spouse can make your will ineffective. As our lives continually change, it important to keep your will under review.”

Richard Lancaster, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare said:

“One aspect that can be overlooked later in life is making arrangements and wishes for your funeral known. Knowing that you have money set aside for your funeral or indeed that you have a funeral plan in place containing your wishes can save your loved ones additional distress and grief at what will be a difficult time for them.
 
“Funeral plans provide the opportunity for people to plan their funeral in as little or as much detail as they want so that when the time does come, their relatives are not left wondering what their loved one may have wanted and instead are satisfied that their wishes are being fulfilled.
 
“Where people choose to leave their funeral plans in a will, it’s really important that they communicate this with their loved ones so that they know where their funeral wishes can be found, rather than finding out after the funeral by which point it’s too late.”
 

Further findings highlight that older generations are putting off later life planning as a  quarter of UK adults aged 65 plus are yet to make a will and a further 83% of over 65 year olds yet to put a funeral plan in place.            

Top 5 prompts for UK adults to write a will:

  • 26% - reaching a milestone age
  • 19% - having a child 
  • 17% death of a relative
  • 16% - purchasing a property
  • 8%  - attending a funeral of a friend or relative

Top 5 prompts for UK adults to update their wills:

  • 19% having grandchildren
  • 18% reaching a milestone age
  • 15% having a child
  • 13% death of a relative
  • 11% purchasing a property

For more information contact:

Emily Dalton: Emily.dalton@co-operative.coop / 07738621201
Lauren Hoult: lauren.hoult@co-operative.coop / 07702505626