30 September 2020

Coronavirus spurs one in six to take action on their will

5 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection


  • COVID has spurred one in six adults (15%) to think about their will;
  • Only two in five (41%) adults have a valid will in place;
  • Of those that have a will, one in seven (13%) admitted it was out of date.

Coronavirus has spurred one in six adults (15%) into action on their will whether this is enquiring about a will (7%), updating an existing will (6%) or creating a new one (4%).

Ahead of Free Wills Month in October, Royal London’s annual research reveals only two in five adults (41%) have a valid will in place.

The pandemic has been the main prompt for reviewing a will in the last six months, with one in four (24%) reviewing their will because of it. More time at home was a top prompt (21%) for reviewing a will, followed by concerns about becoming ill (11%) and the death of a loved one (10%).

Of those that do have a will, one in seven (13%) admitted it to be out of date, rising to nearly one in five (18%) amongst those who have previously been married, which increases the risk of assets going to the wrong person.

More than four in ten (44%) homeowners have no valid will in place – risking their home going to wrong person. Around two-thirds (63%) of parents with dependent children also do not have a valid will – creating potential complications over guardianship.

Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London, said:

“Not having an up-to-date will can cause many complications and delays for your loved ones when it comes to inheriting assets. These complications can be greater for homeowners or parents with dependent children, so the importance of writing or updating a will is far greater for them.

“It is particularly important to make or review a will if you face a significant life event such as marriage, having children or divorce. Your actions now will do a great deal to help your loved ones after you’re gone.”

Commenting on the importance of wills, former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash said:

“Having a will that’s up-to-date is hugely important, especially if you have dependent children or own your own home. When my personal circumstances changed, I was prompted to update my will following a Professional Cricketers’ Association event in 2015 so that my children could inherit my assets without any complications or delays.”


Notes to Editors

  1. Commissioned by Royal London, Opinium surveyed 2,001 UK adults in September 2020.
  2. Information on Free Wills Month can be found here.

For further information please contact:

Eliot Woolfe, Press Officer

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.