SunLife's simple infographic explores all things Will related
Do you have a Will? Did you know the majority of people in the UK don't? 57% of us to be precise. Have you thought what would happen if you died without one?
Our latest infographic takes a look at all things Will related. From the age at which we decide to put pen to paper, who's more likely to have a Will, and how many of us decide to leave money to charity.
It also throws up some interesting questions you might not have thought about. Like what if you left your beloved pet behind? And what would happen to your online profiles? We explain how social media accounts can be deactivated.
The big question is, what if you died having never made a Will, referred to as dying intestate? Where would your money and possessions go? Never assume. The rules around intestacy changed recently and may not be what you expect. Here, we show you in simple terms exactly how it works.
On a lighter note, Harry Houdini's final wishes and Dusty Springfield's cat also get a mention.
If writing your Will is sitting on your to do list, download our free Wills guide for more helpful information on the process.
Who's got a Will?
43% of people have a Will, meaning the majority of people don’t. Only 46% of men have a Will and even fewer women – just 38%.
Growing older and writing a Will
On first glance, it may look like people with a Will are in the minority, but it actually varies dramatically with age. Whilst only 16% of 20-29 year olds have a Will in place, this rises to more than 70% of 60-69 year olds and 85% of those 70 and over.
It makes sense that the older we are, the more likely we are to have a Will. Many of us feel too young to need a Will, but the reality is people of all ages die and we never know what's around the corner.
Where there's a Will… and where there isn't
The map shows the percentage of people in each region of the UK who don't have a Will and the proportion is high. In fact, only one region, the South West, falls just below 50%, possibly due to a high retiree population, with the remaining regions averaging 58%.
Deactivating online accounts
We've set out the specific information required by some of the most frequently held social media accounts, to deactivate a user's account when they die.
As well as social media, other online services like email and banking will require specific information to deactivate the user's account. Making a record of the accounts you hold and your user details will help with this when the time comes. Only your executor will need this information though, so don't record it in your Will. When a Will goes to probate it becomes a public record for all to see.
Giving to charity in a Will
Leaving money to charity in your Will not only gives valuable help to a worthy cause, it could also be exempt from inheritance tax.
£2 billion is left to charity each year but only 17% of Wills that go to probate include a charitable gift.
Remembering a cherished pet
Putting instructions in your Will ensures your loyal companion is taken proper care of after you're gone. The RSPCA offer a free service Home for Life, which pledges to find a new home for your pet, if you don't know someone willing to adopt them. Some people even put money aside in a trust to keep their pet in the style to which they've become accustomed.
Dying without a Will
When a person dies without a leaving a valid Will – referred to as dying intestate - their estate must be shared out according to the Rules of Intestacy. These changed recently for the first time since 1925, so even if you think you know the rules, it could be wise to check the diagram. What happens may not be what you'd hope, particularly if you have children but aren't married or in a civil partnership.
If you're thinking about writing your Will, and would like to learn more, you may also find our article 10 reasons to make a Will interesting.