Nearly two out of three adults in Britain do not have a valid will, according to a survey carried out by MacMillan Cancer Support.
The charity surveyed more than 2,000 people and found that 63% had not made a will, including 42% of people over the age of 55.
The survey also uncovered various “will blunders” that people make. Under British law, a person’s will becomes invalid once they marry, and a new one needs to be written.
Despite this, the survey suggested that 1.5 million people had failed to update their will following their marriage.
It also revealed that 20% of people still had their ex-partner on their will, and 10% of people had not made any amendments to include their children or their grandchildren.
A previous survey from MacMillan found that the most common reasons people gave for not making a will were ‘not having had a chance to get around to it’ and ‘believing they had nothing of value to leave’.
If someone dies intestate, that is, without having made a will, then their estate is divided in a way laid down by law.
This means that the person’s estate may not be shared among family and friends as they had intended and their loved ones could miss out on their inheritance.
Official guidance recommends people review their will every five years or after any major life changes to make sure it still reflects their wishes.