More than one in 10 people in the UK don’t know how to get a will, despite over 90 per cent of the population considering it to be important, according to a new survey.
Of those who didn’t know how to get a Will, five per cent of them were aged 55 and over, and two per cent were 65 and over.
One in six people felt they were too young to have a will, with 16 per cent of these aged between 55 and 64 and two per cent in the 65 years and over age group.
The survey of 1,000 people from across the UK was conducted by chartered accountant Perrys.
Of the 42 per cent that already have a Will in place, the majority were men. Geographically, people living in the East Midlands and Scotland were most likely to have a Will (51 per cent) with those living in the North East being least likely (26 per cent).
In Yorkshire, 44 per cent of respondents said they have a will.
The survey showed that nine per cent of those questioned felt it was too expensive to get a will even though one in 10 of these are taking home £40,000 per annum or more - earning nearly twice the average annual wage,
Other results revealed that nearly half would consider getting a Will if they could benefit from free, professional advice at home, with only a quarter wanting to discuss their will by telephone, whilst a third would prefer to be contacted at their place of work.
Stewart Pope, chief executive at Perrys, said: “There still isn’t enough emphasis on the importance of having a will in place whatever your age, income or assets.
“A will should be seen as an insurance policy and can save your family a lot of heartache in the long-term should something unexpected happen. This is particularly important if you have children or live together, but aren’t married.
“Even if you are married there are still grey areas as to who will inherit your belongings.
“Not only does a will legally determine the allocation of any assets you may have, but it will also clarify personal requests such as who will care for your children in the event of both parents’ deaths.
“A will can also help inheritance tax payments to be planned more efficiently and help to avoid costly and lengthy disputes amongst family members.“
The survey comes as solicitors prepare for Will Aid month in November.
During the month, participating solicitors draw up a basic will for clients without charging their usual fee.
Instead, they invite their clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid.
The suggested donation level is £95 for a basic single will or £150 for basic mirror wills. Donations are then shared amongst the nine Will Aid charities to help people in need in the UK and around the world.
Will makers are advised to contact a participating solicitor well before November to be sure of an appointment.
Potential will makers can ring the Will Aid hotline on 0300 0309 558 or visit willaid.org.uk for participating solicitors.