Never too young to make a will. New poll reveals surprise findings.
Release Date: 27 Apr 2010
Almost sixty (58%) per cent of adults have not made a will, rising to a staggering 74 per cent of co-habiting adults, a new poll has revealed.
The online YouGov poll was undertaken by children's charity Barnardo's who rely heavily on gifts left to them in wills.
The poll further reveals that:
- of those who have made a will, a surprisingly savvy 61 per cent did so before the age of 41
- more than one in five (22 per cent) cite having a child as a key driver
- almost a quarter (23 per cent) state financial planning as the reason for writing a will.
The get-organised attitude of the will-makers contrasted sharply with the 58 per cent of adults who admitted they had not made one. While almost all respondents believed it was sensible to make a will, many relied on the classic get-out clause: "always meant to but never got round to it" (32 per cent).
Ginny Harris, Barnardo’s Gifts in Wills Marketing Manager, says:
"We know from this poll that most people believe they should make a will but they put it off for a variety of reasons.
"One of the most concerning findings is that a quarter of those over 55 who hadn’t made a will say ‘the money will go to my family anyway’. Yet dying without a will can cause a lot of problems for those who are left behind. Making a will really is the best way of protecting the interests of family and loved ones."
The good news for Barnardo's and other good causes is that more than one third of respondents would consider leaving a gift in their will to a charity as well as providing for family and friends.
"That figure is substantially higher than the 15 per cent of people who currently leave a gift in their will, so we can be optimistic that attitudes are changing. It is a common misconception that leaving a legacy is only for the very wealthy; but our survey results suggest we are getting the message out that anyone can consider it.
"A gift left to Barnardo’s in a will – no matter how large or small – is a great way of supporting our work and helping us to turn around the lives of disadvantaged children and young people."
Almost half of all donations Barnardo’s receives from the public each year comes from gifts left to them in wills. Even a small donation can have a big impact:
- £100 could provide a child with 5 afternoons at a Barnardo’s bereavement centre
- £500 could pay for 5 sessions with a psychologist for a child who has been sexually abused
- £1,500 could support a family in temporary accommodation, helping them to rebuild their lives after a crisis
- £5,000 could pay for a trip away for 20 young carers
- £7,000 could cover the cost of a 6 month intensive programme to divert a young offender from crime
- £35,000 could give 100 young people the chance to have hands on training, for example in the construction industry, so they can look forward to a new career.
For further information on Barnardo’s free will-writing schemes for over 55s visit the Gifts in Wills section of the Barnardo's website.