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Will making on the rise in wake of coronavirus

By Jemma Slingo  >>

The Law Society has noted a ‘striking shift’ in the number of people making or updating wills during the pandemic – but warned that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of people still do not have their affairs in order.

In a survey conducted in late June, 7% of respondents said they had made or updated their will during the first UK-wide lockdown. ‘Given how many people do not have a will, this is a striking shift,’ said Law Society president David Greene. Among key workers – generally at higher risk of catching Covid-19 – the figure was 6%.

Almost 60% of those surveyed said they did not have a will, and just 29% said they have an up-to-date will which reflects their current intentions.

In a statement published today, consumer expert Which? said its wills service saw orders more than triple in March 2020, compared to the same period last year. In April, orders grew by 682% – an almost eight- fold increase – year-on-year.

Greene said: ‘It is hugely encouraging so many people have made wills during the first UK lockdown, but the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of the UK public do not have an up-to-date will as we enter the second wave of Covid-19 cases.

‘In some demographics – such as urban and BAME communities – will-making is particularly uncommon. Only 25% of those from a BAME background had a will, compared to 42% of white respondents. Similarly, only 36% of people in urban areas had a will compared to 54% from rural areas.’

The main reasons respondents gave for not making a will were not having anything of value to leave to their loved ones (24%), not finding the time to make a will (20%) and thinking they were too young to make a will (18%).

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)