Nearly two thirds of UK adults don’t have a Will, research finds

16 January 2018

42% of over-55s don’t have a Will, according to a survey of 2,000 people by Macmillan Cancer Support

New research from Macmillan Cancer Support reveals that nearly 2 in 3 UK residents (63%) are failing to write a Will and make their final wishes known. This includes 42% of people over the age of 55

The charity also discovered that 1.5 million people have unknowingly made their Will void by getting married, as marriage automatically revokes a previous Will, making it invalid.

Without an up-to-date Will, the law could overrule a person’s final wishes and leave possessions, money, property, and even dependent children, with someone they may not have chosen.

The survey of over 2,000 adults found a range of other Will-related errors, with 1 in 5 Wills still including an ex-partner, not yet including children or grandchildren, a new relationship or including someone that they plan to remove.

As many as 10% of people with Wills admitted they were planning to update them to include children and grandchildren, but had not yet done so.

The reality is that so many of us put off updating or making our Will, despite official guidance recommending that people review their Will every five years and after any major life events. A quarter of Wills have not been updated for at least five years.

Craig Fordham, director of legacies at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “This January, Macmillan wants to help people take charge of their Will and think about the type of legacy they want to leave behind. The start of the year is the perfect time to get your affairs in order and make arrangements for your loved ones and the causes closest to you.”

Previous research from Macmillan found that the top reasons for not having a Will included having ‘just never got round to it’ (41%), as well as the belief that they don’t have anything valuable to leave and that they don’t need to write one until they’re older.

Find out more about making a Will.