Should conveyancers be thinking more about wills?

Should conveyancers be thinking more about wills?

A survey conducted by Beagle Street, part of the BGL group, has revealed that 59 per cent of adults do not currently have a will.

More than 2000 respondents were sampled for the survey which showed 73 per cent of those currently ‘living as married’ said that they did not have a will in place.

Under current law without a will, should one die, their ‘living as married’ partner is not automatically entitled to the estate.

When asked the reason for not having a will, over one in five (23%) gave the reason as ‘not having very much to put into a will’, closely followed by the view that ‘everything will automatically go to a spouse/civil partner/partner/children’ (20%).

Just 2% of those between the ages of 18-24 had a will, closely followed by 10% of 25-34s and 25% of 35-44s.

Matthew Gledhill, director, Beagle Street, said: “Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult life events, so it is quite worrying to see that so many people do not see the benefits of having a will in place.

“At a very difficult time, it is enormously helpful to have some idea of the person’s wishes regarding their estate. It can also avoid lengthy administrative processes with banks and other legal/financial institutions.

“Having a will drawn up is a relatively simple process and one that can help make things far smoother for family and friends left behind.”

So what does this mean for conveyancing? Are conveyancers doing enough to advise consumers, particularly unmarried purchasers, that they should make a will?

Mark Slade of Fidler and Pepper, CQS accredited firm and member of the Conveyancing Association said: "I think most conveyancers could do a better job selling wills but the challenge is the purchasers have other things on their mind when they are trying to complete."

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