Calls regarding the absence of a will after a family member has died have surged in recent years, Citizens Advice reports.
Speaking to Radio 5 Live, the charity said there had been 3,747 enquiries on the topic last year, nearly twice as many as four years earlier, when only 1,522 calls came in. The number of calls received by Citizens Advice on so-called ‘intestacy’ has increased steadily every year.
There was an additional jump in the number of calls to Citizens Advice seeking advice on wills which had been left.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel last year reported that little more than a third of adults in England and Wales (38 per cent) had drafted a will.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel advises the Legal Services Board, which in turn oversees the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales.
Stowe Family Law solicitor Duncan Watson is a specialist in wills, trusts, probate and estate planning. He stressed the importance of committing your wishes to paper.
“Not making a will can cause a lot of problems.People’s estates can go to the wrong people. They can end up paying far too much tax without advice during their lifetime, and it can increase the risk of a challenge to the estate, particularly from cohabitees/ unmarried partners and step-children who have not been formally adopted, as neither would benefit from an estate when there is no will.”