It appears that the pandemic has prompted more of us to consider the future and write our wills as a result. New research shows that 25% of adults in the UK have created their will during the past year.
According to insurer Canada Life, one in four adults has been spurred into action regarding their estate planning since the onset of the first UK lockdown.
44% of adults have now written a will, up from 41% in July 2020.
During the last year, an estimated 4.9 million UK adults have written a will, and a further 5.5 million have updated an existing will to change or update recipients of financial assets.
4.4 million people have spoken to a solicitor to write a will, and 7.8 million have started to think about their will.
Despite this impressive surge in will writing, there are still more than 29.5 million adults in the UK without a will.
Of those without a will, 34% say that the pandemic experience has prompted them to start thinking about writing a will.
Neil Jones, tax and estate planning specialist, Canada Life said:
“As a society, we often shy away from talking about the state of our personal and financial affairs, which can make wills and estate planning a taboo subject for many. But while no one likes to think about their own mortality, it’s extremely encouraging to see that the global pandemic has prompted people into action.
“Having a will in place not only provides people with financial security and peace of mind, meaning their families and loved ones will be provided for should the unexpected happen, but can also help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might be payable on the value of the assets they leave behind.”
According to the research, a third of adults have updated their will, with reasons including wanting to give their loved ones security and wanting to ensure their loved ones benefitted.
Other reasons for changing wills included worrying about dying sooner than expected, the pandemic causing people to reflect on mortality, and ensuring charities benefited.