The average debt for those aged 50-59 now exceeds the average savings for the same age group, research has shown. A recent survey revealed the average amount owed by this age group totals £4,641, compared to £4,511 in savings.
The same survey uncovered that 1 in 5 over 50s have no cash in savings at all. One reason suggested for this trend is that this age group is likely to be financially supporting two generations of the same family - their children and their own parents - with shopping and transport.
With people living longer and the 20-30 age group being less likely to afford their own home than ever before, this trend looks set to continue. Decreasing cash assets could explain why almost half of people aged 55-64 have not made a Will – with 23% of people thinking they are ‘too poor’ to put together a Will.
However, planning ahead, creating a Will and talking about your estate to your family can reduce the likelihood of any misunderstanding about how you want things to be handled when the time comes.
The importance of planning for your death cannot be underestimated and having a plan in place ensures that your family isn’t subjected to additional stress and upset at an already challenging time. Planning well in advance can be a positive experience which enables you to ensure that you leave a lasting legacy that benefits the people you want it to.
Tom Curran, Chief Executive at estate administration specialist Kings Court Trust said: “This report highlights that around a fifth of those aged 55 – 64 do not feel wealthy enough to leave a Will, even though reports show that the average homeowner has over £214,000 worth of property as part of their estate.
It is hugely important to think about how you want your estate to be distributed as it could be the difference between it being shared amongst your loved ones in line with your wishes, or a potentially divisive family argument.
It is important that people understand the benefits of planning ahead, regardless of our age or health. By ensuring that your Will is clearly and professionally written, your estate can be dealt with as smoothly as possible, reducing the likelihood of loved ones being unintentionally excluded when it comes to their inheritance.”
Kings Court Trust always recommends that individuals seek professional advice from a Will writer to ensure that the Will is clear and legally binding. If you would like more information on appointing a professional Will writer, please visit The Institute of Professional Will writers website at www.ipw.org.uk.