05 December 2018

Perplexed by wills: more than 5 million adults do not know where to begin

New research by Royal London reveals that 5.4 million adults without a will in the UK would not know where to begin if they were to write one.

2 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection


  • 5.4 million adults without a will would not know where to begin if they were to write one 
  • Six in ten (59%) parents either do not have a will or have one that is out of date
  • A third (34%) of UK adults said that illness would encourage them to make a will

Worryingly, the data also shows that 59% of parents either do not have a will, or have one that is out of date. It is especially important for parents to have an up to date will so that if the worst were to happen, their children would be brought up by who they choose.  

The research also found that since writing a will three in ten (31%) experienced a significant life event such as marriage or having a baby, yet more than half (53%) have not updated their will. Many people do not realise that if they were to marry, any previous will is automatically invalidated and is no longer of any value, so it’s vital that wills are reviewed and kept up to date.

More than half (54%) of the adult population do not have a will. Of those who do not have  a will one in four (24%) admitted they have no intention of making one, compared to a third (34%) who said that an illness would encourage them to do so. 

Support from a solicitor

Using the services of a solicitor is the most popular way of writing a will, with two thirds (68%) using legal assistance. The majority of people who had a will described the process of writing a will as being ‘quick’ (85%) and ‘easy’ (90%).

Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson for Royal London, said:

“It is incredibly important to have a will, not just to protect your finances but to make sure vital decisions, such as who will look after your children, are noted. Once you have a will, you should update it after any significant life events that could affect your financial situation, such as getting married, divorced or starting a family. Taking these important steps allows you to have peace of mind knowing that when you’re gone your wishes will be met.”

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For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.