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One in three over-55s 'have no will in place'

Tue 26 Oct 2010

Over a third of Britons aged over 55 are still without a will, new figures have revealed.

According to Unbiased.co.uk, 36 per cent of people in this demographic have no legally binding document on the bequeathment of their assets.

Statistics also indicated that the overall number of adults in the UK without a will has gone up in the last year.

Whereas 28 million people were found to have no will in place during 2009, this has now risen to more than 30 million.

Unbiased.co.uk has therefore warned that if people die intestate, their assets will go to the Crown and will not automatically be passed to their next of kin.

The survey by the website found that 18 per cent of adults have not made a will because they do not believe they have any valuable assets worth passing on to their family.

In addition, 36 per cent said they have not taken action because they have simply not got around to getting it sorted yet.

Hugh MacDougald, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood Solicitors, commented: "Intestacy would be disaster for many of the families of this age group.

"And of the wills that are in existence many will be lost, out of date or totally inappropriate.

"Members of the over-50 age group of any substance should have a good relationship with an experienced private client lawyer who can advise from time to time on a whole range of personal and financial risk management issues including incapacity, marriage, cohabitation, pensions, tax and (inevitably) death.

"These should be considered holistically and not in isolation."
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