A recent survey of pensioners across the UK has found that around 2.3million people are still without a Will, with even more people going without Power of Attorney. Some 700,000 people aged 75 or over have not made a Will to pass on their assets to their loved ones, according to new research from Just Group. This is the equivalent to around one in ten people within the age demographic or 12 percent of over 75s.
Around seven in 10 pensioners who are over 75 years old have yet to have put this measure in place, which is the equivalent to more than four million people.
Those between the ages of 65 and 74 are even less likely to have made any Power of Attorney arrangements, with over five million people having not put the measure in place.
Stephen Lowe, the Group Communications director at Just Group, outlined the importance of people creating Wills and putting in place Power of Attorney arrangements in order to protect their loved ones and assets.
Mr Lowe said: “At its simplest a will ensures that your estate is shared out as you would wish, not according to the rules of intestacy, and there can be financial benefits to planning in advance how and when to pass on inheritances.
“Powers of Attorney are understandably more difficult for people to consider.
“None of us likes to think about being so vulnerable and it’s tempting to think ‘it won’t happen to me’ or ‘I’ll deal with it later’.
“Sadly the data tell a different story: more than seven percent of people over the age of 65 have dementia and the risk of developing dementia rises to one in six over the age of 80.”
In reaction to Just Group’s findings, Ruth Driscoll, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, emphasised the crucial importance of putting in place legal procedures for when your life is coming to an end.
Ms Driscoll said: “We believe everyone should have the right to a conversation about what matters most to them when they are approaching the end of their life.
“While these conversations are best had as early as possible, this data shows that too many people are not having these conversations early enough or covering all the issues that matter to them.
“The Government’s new Health and Care Bill proposes more patient choice about services and treatments– which is to be welcomed – but it does not go far enough.
“We want everyone with a terminal diagnosis to have the right to be offered a conversation about their needs, wishes and preferences.
“These conversations would cover their medical needs, but also wider practical concerns like will-writing and power of attorney.
“These conversations about care and legacy can also offer a huge amount of comfort to grieving loved ones, helping them to feel they did all the right things for their loved one at the end of life.”
Anyone who has yet to make a Will, but is looking to do so, should contact a legal representative for guidance as soon as possible.