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35% of Over 50s Have No Will

Here at KCT, we came across an article on the Cover Magazine website this week which stated that around 35% of those aged over 50 have no will. This is according to research from RIAS, which was conducted during the recent Will Aid Month, and found that there seemed to be wide-spread confusion among respondents regarding what happens to an estate if the person dies intestate.

The percentage of those aged over 50 without a will varied by region, with 44% of Londoners having none, compared to 75% of those from the East Midlands having one drafted. Just over half (52%) of those questioned believe that when a person dies, their estate automatically passes to their spouse. Just over a quarter (27%) believe that it goes to their next of kin.

It has been estimated that last year the government received around £40.2 million in income due to estates without a will in place, as they are subject to higher tax rates and a proportion of the estate may be claimed by the government thanks to the bona vacantia law. The amount received in 2013 is an increase of 300% compared to 2012.

Peter Corfield, the managing director for RIAS, noted that "it is clear from these findings that making a will is still a bit of a stumbling block for a lot of people over the age of 50." He claims that "getting a will is essential to make sure that should the unexpected happen, your family and friends receive the best support."

Plan If, an awareness campaign launched to encourage parents to prepare wills, has been set up to help those without a will take that first step. Are you surprised by the number of people with no will in place?