Families risk ruin as more than half of us have no will

NEARLY 30 million Britons have not made a will - leaving their loved ones financially vulnerable after their death experts warn today.

Long-term unmarried partners, children born outside of marriage and step-children are at risk of receiving nothing if there is no "last will and testament".

And there is no guarantee that the main beneficiary of any property or money will carry out any requests made before death.

Research reveals 28.7 million of the UK adult population (57 per cent) are at risk of dying "intestate" - without any legal orders regarding their estate..

Nearly four-fifths (78 per cent) of adults in their 30s and more than two-thirds (68 per cent) in their 40s have no will in place.

Even those getting older are either ignoring the importance of, or forgetting, to make a will, according to the financial website unbiased.co.uk.

More than half (54 per cent) in their 50s and 27 per cent of those in their 60s also have left no official bequests.

When it comes to writing a will, procrastination rules for too many, with most believing they should make their will when they are older

Karen Barrett, chief executive or unbiased.co.uk

This is despite 68 per cent of people expecting to leave property valued at an average of £182,000 to someone on their death.

Three-quarters intend to leave as much as £51,000 in cash and 56 per cent say they want to pass on assets such as paintings, jewellery and antiques worth around £22,000.

Karen Barrett, chief executive or unbiased.co.uk, said: "What is evident from our research are people's good intentions to ensure loved ones are taken care of when they are no longer around.

"However, it is worrying to see how few have a will in place, leaving no guarantee their wishes will be executed as they intended and potentially putting them and their family in a vulnerable position.

"When it comes to writing a will, procrastination rules for too many, with most believing they should make their will when they are older.

"Those with wills are often unaware they can register their will too, which ensures loved ones will be able find your will when you are no longer around.

"It is never too soon to make a will and it will provide you with the knowledge and peace of mind that your family will be protected and secure."

When asked who they wanted to benefit from their will, those surveyed overwhelmingly said they intended for their estates to providing financial security for relatives with children and grandchildren set to benefit first.

Experts also warned of the importance of the bereaved be able to find any will.

Nigel McGinnity, chief executive of national will register Certainty.co.uk, said: "Writing a will is the first important step to take, the second is to ensure it can be found when you have passed on.

"If it cannot be found in the future, then writing it in the first place was meaningless. Every day Certainty Will Search find wills that otherwise would have been assumed lost or, worse still, never written forcing distribution of the estate down an intestacy route."

Source http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/505940/Families-risk-as-more-than-half-have-no-will