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Women ‘more likely to create a will due to coronavirus pandemic’

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

Women are more likely than men to create a will as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a survey has suggested.

Nearly three in 10 (28%) women said they were more likely, compared with just under a fifth (19%) of men.

The YouGov survey was carried out for “heir hunting” or probate research firm Finders International, which reunites those who are next-of-kin with inheritances they did not know they were due, when someone dies without a will or known heirs.

The research also revealed more than half (59%) of adults do not have a valid will, rising to nearly nine in 10 (87%) of under-35s.

Nearly three in 10 (29%) over-55s said they do not have a will.

And three-quarters (76%) of adults surveyed said they do not know a lot about what happens to their assets if they die without a will.

A significant number would likely consider disinheriting family members from their will, including parents, siblings, children or their partner, while two-fifths (42%) said they had fallen out with a family member at family gatherings.

Danny Curran, founder of Finders International, said: “It’s time our knowledge and understanding about our legacies when we die are better understood for the protection of our loved ones.

“We know the pandemic has forced many more individuals to consider their position around death – as awkward and as uncomfortable as that may sound.

“Not many people realise if they die ‘intestate’ or without a will, their assets could easily go to the Government. What we’ve learnt from this research is the importance of family relationships, or at least knowing who-is-who across a family, even if close relationships don’t exist.”

Geoffrey Odds, chairman of the IAPPR (International Association of Professional Probate Researchers), said: “From an international perspective, this research went on to uncover that more than a quarter of younger adults had at least one foreign-born grandparent, compared to just 10% of over-50s.”

He added: “What’s interesting about this phenomenon is how families and relations will continue to become more international.”

More than 2,300 people were surveyed in January.