Only one in five young adults have a will

Published  25 October 2021
   5 min read
  • Only a fifth (21%) of those aged 18-34 years have created a will.
  • They are a third less likely to have a will compared to those aged over 55 (68%).
  • However, 30% of this age group have dependent children and 43% own their home.

Only a fifth (21%) of those aged between 18-34 have created a will, compared to two thirds (68%) of those aged 55+ according to new research from mutual insurer, Royal London.

Although younger adults are less likely to have a will, they are more likely to have children who depend on them. A third (30%) of those aged 18-34 have children who depend on them, compared to only 14% of those older than 55.  Not having a will could create complications with guardianship of children or assets being inherited by another family member.

The likelihood of cohabiting with a partner is higher among this age group. More than half (56%) of 18–34-year-olds live with a partner and own a home, compared to a fifth (21%) who are married and own a home. If couples who live together don’t have a will, their partner may not inherit. The rules of intestacy mean that any assets they own, including a home in their name or their share of a home as a ‘tenant in common’, would automatically go to their parents or children. 

Of those that have a will, nearly a third (31%) of younger adults were prompted by having children, a fifth (19%) when buying a property, and 29% said it was just something they know they needed to do.

For young adults that don’t have a will, four in ten (40%) feel they are too young to worry about it, and a third (33%) have just not got round to doing it yet.

November is Will Aid month, when participating solicitors volunteer their time and to write a basic will and ask clients to make a donation to Will Aid’s charity partners.

Sarah Pennells, Consumer Finance Specialist at Royal London, said:

“Writing a will is not just something you should do when you hit middle age. It’s particularly important to consider once you own a home, have children, start a business or have savings and investments. If you live with your partner, they won’t automatically inherit your money or property – and friends won’t inherit either.

“Creating a will can be a task that never makes it to the top of the “to-do” list, particularly for younger adults. But 86% of people found writing a will easy, and it could prevent unnecessary complications at an already difficult time for loved ones.

“A solicitor will look at your estate and arrangements for any children to make sure that what you want to happen will happen, when you die.  It’s worth seeing if your work or union can help, and in November some solicitors will write a will in exchange for a donation to charity through Will Aid.”

Notes to Editors

1.       Commissioned by Royal London, Opinium surveyed 2,000 UK adults in September 2021.

2.      Information on Will Aid Month:

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £153 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,075 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2021.

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Lena Nunkoo, PR Manager