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Growing number of older people don't have a will

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A new study has revealed that almost one in five people over the age of 70 have not written a will.

As a number of previous surveys have revealed, a significant majority of the UK’s adult population are yet to have put their affairs in order – over 58 per cent confessing that they don’t have a valid will.

Among the younger age-groups this trend isn’t wholly unexpected – around 87 per cent of those in their 20s are yet to make the necessary arrangements.

Perhaps more worrying is the growing number of older people who don’t have a will, risking the chance of their estates being subjected to intestacy rules in the event of their death.

Among over 70s, 18 per cent of those surveyed admitted they hadn’t got a will – slightly up on the number who made the admission 12 months earlier.

Among those aged 60 to 69, the number who have put off putting their affairs in order rises to almost a third.

The research was carried out by the website Unbiased and was published as part of their annual Write a Will week.

Their statistics also offer an intriguing breakdown of where in the UK people are most likely to have neglected to have written a will.

The greatest challenge is in Northern Ireland, where 68 per cent of adults don’t have a will. However, the figures for the West Midlands are the worst in the mainland UK at 67 per cent.

An Unbiased spokesman said: “Remember, it won’t be you who faces the consequences of dying without a will – it will be your family and other potential beneficiaries. We all have a responsibility to make sure our affairs are neatly tied up in advance.”