26 February 2020

Two in five homeowners don't have a will

5 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection

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  • More than two fifths (44%) of homeowners do not have a will in place;
  • Of those who don’t have a will because they have ‘nothing valuable to pass on’, one in six own a property;
  • Deciding who to appoint as executor and trustee is the most difficult part of writing a will.

More than two in five (44%) homeowners do not have a will in place, putting their homes at greater risk of going to the wrong person if they were to die without a will, research by Royal London reveals.

March is Free Wills Month and Royal London asked homeowners and adults about their wills and decision making process.

One in five (21%) adults without a will said they didn’t have one because they have nothing valuable to pass on. However, one in six (16%) of those who said they have ‘nothing valuable to pass on’ also own a property.

The research also shows that since creating their first will, around four in ten (43%) of those who have bought a property have not updated their will to include this change.

Surprisingly, 16% of people aged over 55 do not have a will, but do own a home either outright or with a mortgage.

According to the study, homeowners found deciding who to appoint as executor and trustee (24%) (someone who sorts out your estate and carries out your wishes after your death) the most difficult part of writing a will. The next hardest decision was who would benefit from the will (20%). 

Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London said:

“It’s surprising that some people don’t think their home is worth including in their will. Writing a will seems to be seen as an admin task that never makes it to the top of the “to-do” list.  It’s worth making it a priority as having a will in place could help avoid any unnecessary distress at an already difficult time for loved ones.”

Free Wills Month offers people aged 55 and over the chance to write or update their will free of charge with selected charities.

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Notes to editors

  1. Royal London commissioned a survey by Opinium between 18-22 October 2019 with a sample of 2,006 nationally representative UK adults.
  2. Free Wills Month in March gives those over 55 the chance to write or update their will free of charge with selected participating charities. Find out more here: https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/

For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £139 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,348 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2020.