Coronavirus pushes more than 50% of Britons to consider making a will

Person signing will

Coronavirus has prompted more than 55% of Britons to think about how best to protect their loved ones after they are gone, a new survey has revealed.

Will-writing campaign Will Aid found that more than half of those questioned had been prompted to get a will or review their existing will as a result of the pandemic.

Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director for Will Aid, said: “It can be very difficult for some people to have conversations about death and dying but with this comes a sense of peace because you are making important decisions that can protect your loved ones when you die.

“The last year has shown us how fragile life can be and the survey has revealed just how much of an impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the mindset of people. We have all had to learn lessons about how to protect ourselves better – with handwashing, mask-wearing and social distancing. A will is just an extension to this.

Fifteen per cent of those interviewed said they had written a will or made changes to their will this year as a result of the pandemic. A further 35% said they were actively looking to get a will drawn up this year or make changes to their existing paperwork as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr de Vena Franks said: “Will Aid provides the perfect opportunity for people to get their paperwork in order. Not only does it bring peace of mind, it also directly helps to fund the life-saving work of nine of the UK’s best-loved charities.”

Will Aid runs for the month of November. Solicitors volunteer their time to charity to write wills for members of the public. Instead of paying the usual fee for the will, the recipient is asked to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid.

The suggested voluntary donation for a basic Will Aid will is £100 for a single will and £180 for a pair of mirror wills.

Will Aid raises money for nine of the UK’s best-loved charities: ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Mr de Vena Franks said: “There are still so many people in the UK who do not have a will and this does need to be addressed. After all, a will is the best way for a person to make an active choice about inheritance and estates, not to mention make decisions on the guardianship of underage children.”

According to the research, 56% of adults don't have a will in the UK. More than half of all parents with children under the age of 18 also have no will which means, in the event of their death, a court would make decisions on the guardianship of their children.

Of those interviewed, twice as many people would make a will as a result of a health scare than they were as a result of having a child.

Those who wish to book an appointment with a solicitor to make a will in November can do so from September onwards via our website or by calling us on 0300 0309 558.

Will Aid solicitors will be following the most up-to-date government health advice to ensure that face-to-face meetings remain safe. Many firms will be able to write wills at a distance via a phone or online consultations. Some firms will only be offering their services remotely. Participating firms can be contacted directly for more information.