The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in January 2016 was recorded as 47,426 according to figures recently released by the Office of National Statistics.
Despite the fact that death is one of two certainties in life famously quoted by Benjamin Franklin and Daniel Defoe – the other of course being taxes – a surprisingly high percentage of people in the UK do not have a Will. Around two-thirds for those aged between 35 and 54 don’t have a Will, and almost nine out of ten for under 35’s.
As might be expected, a higher proportion of individuals aged over 55 have made a Will, but even within this age group more than a third have not. It could be that many people are simply unaware of the benefits of making a Will or perhaps an element of putting off until tomorrow comes into play.
A significant number of inheritance dispute cases involve individuals who did not make a Will or had a go at a DIY homemade Will – in some cases with disastrous consequences.
It is also reported that at least four in ten people feel unfairly treated in a Will, or if intestacy rules come in to play (where there was no valid Will) are completely unaware that they are able to bring a court challenge.
So what should I do?
Make a Will if you haven’t already done so, and ensure you regularly review it. You should also encourage loved ones to make a Will and kept it regularly up to date.
If you are treated unfairly in a Will or intestacy it is important to seek professional legal advice on your options.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.