Brits lack of death preparation fuelling wills gap

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

77% of parents with children aged under 5 years old have not made a will

Brits are failing to prepare properly for the prospect of death, with many failing to secure the fate of their families and money. New research by Foresters Friendly Society and ICM has found that Brits' post-life planning is a shocking state with over half of people not having a will (61 per cent), while one in ten with a will have told no-one else where it is. A further one in eight (13 per cent) have not reviewed their will in over a decade.

Children stand to be most affected by the state of Britain's wills, as over two thirds (77 per cent) of parents with children under the age of five have not made a will and of those that have, nearly half (46 per cent) have not reviewed it in the last five years.

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of Brits have never thought about writing a will (24 per cent) and over a fifth think they are too poor to have a will at all (23 per cent). Nearly half of those aged between 55 and 64 have not made a will (46 per cent) with over a fifth having never thought about making one (22 per cent). Over one in eight Brits are relying on self-written wills, the validity of which is more likely to be challenged upon death (13 per cent).

When making a will eight out of ten Brits prefer to seek face-to-face advice (80 per cent), with only four per cent trusting online forums to give them guidance on the subject.

The research was conducted to mark the launch of Foresters Friendly Society's welcome gift will writing service, which will be offered to all of the Society's new 50+ Life Cover policy customers paying a monthly premium of £25 a month or more. The 50+ Life Cover policy is a whole of life insurance policy and customers are guaranteed to be accepted for cover.

The new will writing service, provided by Choices Will Writing, is recognised by the Office of Fair Trading as a professional will writing service and a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers. The service will be offered nationwide with the actual writing taking place in the comfort of policyholders' homes or offices, rather than on the phone or online.

Neil Armitage, Marketing Director, Foresters Friendly Society, said: "Our research has shown that Brits just aren't planning for a future without themselves in it. People either don't have wills, or haven't updated them or told people where they are. It's a great risk to run when the fate of young children and a great deal of money is at stake.

"This is naturally a subject that people try to avoid but it's crucial to face up to the inevitable. Our service offers a face to face conversation with a professional in the comfort of your own home, making it as easy as possible. Writing a will must be an essential part of being a grown up."

"We've offered this welcome gift with the 50+ Life Cover policy because we wanted to give our members something that has real, tangible benefit to their lives and supports our life cover. Wills are of far more lasting value than the carriage clocks or sat navs that often come with these policies."

"By offering this Will Writing Service we are helping our members plan for the next generation and safeguard their families' financial future."

New policyholders of the 50+ Life Cover policy will become members automatically of Foresters Friendly Society and have access to a range of member benefits. These include social activities through the local branches and online via the Society's social networking site (, discretionary grants for those facing hardship and access to an exclusive discounts club. As a friendly society, Foresters Friendly Society is owned by its members, not shareholders.