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Cohabiting couples are not protecting loved ones in event of death

Bristol, United Kingdom – June 11, 2018 - Research reveals that more and more people are writing Wills but there remains to be a large percentage of UK adults that have not made arrangements on how their assets will be distributed. This is particularly worrying for the cohabiting couples whose loved ones would not be protected if they were to die without a Will as their estate would be distributed following the rules of intestacy.

Kings Court Trust’s 2018 research on the Will writing industry found:

  • 58% of adults who are married or in a civil partnership have a Will but only 30% of adults that are living as married have a Will. 
  • Only one in three (33%) adults that have children in the household have written a Will.
  • One in twenty people (5%) have been in a dispute with someone about the contents of a Will. 
  • Under half of the adult population in Great Britain have a Will, with 45% of British adults reporting that they have a Will. This has increased by six percentage points compared to last year when the proportion was 39%. 

The changes in family structures and the complexity of family arrangements places an imperative to protect assets. However, the research suggests that those who are most at risk of inheritance disputes have not taken up the opportunity to create a Will. This includes those who are living as married (70% do not have a Will) and adults who have children in the household (67% are without a Will).

Generally, the cost is one of the main determining factors for thinking about a Will with 51% of adults stating that a ‘competitive cost’ would be important to them when choosing how to create a Will. This raises the question of whether cohabiting couples have been discouraged to write a Will once they have learnt of the associated cost.

Tom Curran, Chief Executive Officer at Kings Court Trust commented on the research, “The number of cohabiting couples and parents without a Will is particularly worrying as it is more probable that their wishes will not be followed if they were to die intestate. By creating a valid Will, they could ensure that their estate is distributed as per their wishes, whilst also protecting their loved ones.”

“As one of the UK’s leading estate administration providers, we have seen more disputes over inheritance arise and the research supports this as one in twenty people (5%) have been in a dispute with someone about the contents of a Will. A dispute is more likely to arise if no Will has been left, once again emphasising the importance of creating a Will. It is likely that the changes in family structures could be a reason for the increase in inheritance disputes as more people remarry and become part of a blended family.”, Curran added.

About the research

YouGov conducted an online omnibus survey on behalf of Kings Court Trust. The survey ran between the 6th and 7th of March 2018 and was made of a sample of 2022 people that are representative of all GB adults (18 +) in Great Britain. The findings are also based on semi-structured telephone interviews with Will writers and legal professionals, as well as a literature review, conducted by an independent researcher.

This report builds on the findings in ‘A changing landscape: the Will writing industry in 2017’.

About Kings Court Trust

Kings Court Trust are one of the UK’s largest specialist estate administration providers and their sole purpose is to help families move on. Since they were founded in 2002, they’ve assisted on over 35,000 estates either by taking care of the entire estate administration process or offering their specialist services on complex estate administration cases. With their unrivalled knowledge of estate administration, their legal and tax teams can advise on any situation and offer an exceptional estate administration service.

For further information, please contact: 

Danielle Ricketts

press@kctrust.co.uk

0300 303 9000 ext. 5450