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Why are more young adults writing Wills?

Traditionally drafting a Will hasn’t been a priority for young adults.  This is changing.  In 2021 the number of Generation Zs making a will increased by 23% but why are more young adults writing Wills?

The reasons for why Wills haven’t  been at the top of most young adults ‘to do’ lists are pretty  evident.  Not only does death feel a long way off, more practically many young adults don’t have a great deal to leave in their Wills.

This has all changed over the last couple of years.

As we’ve already said there has – according to fintech specialists Farewill’s The Year in Wills Report for 2021 – been a 23% increase in the number of young people making Wills.  It’s also interesting to take note of the provisions of these Wills.  According to the report, Generation Zs are six times more likely to pledge gifts to environmental charities and set out instructions for a more environmentally friendly funeral.

The uncertainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has of course contributed to this increase.

According to a recent Legal & General survey the impact of the pandemic has definitely contributed to the increase in demand for Wills.  They found that more than 22% of the 16-24 year olds interviewed agreed their perspectives on Wills had changed because of the pandemic.  More pointedly, they found that 18% of young people had updated their Wills specifically because they’d had COVID.

However, is COVID the only reason more young people are asking for Wills?

Why are more young people asking for their Will to be drafted?

With the numbers of COVID fatalities taking up so much of our news coverage it’s perfectly understandable that the pandemic has changed everyone at every age’s view of mortality.

The stats are certainly undeniable.

As well as the studies published by Farewill and Legal & General, end-of-life online platform Aura has found over a third of British people said their attitude to death markedly changed as a direct result of COVID-19.  Meanwhile it was repeatedly proven there were spikes in Will drafting activity following “days of intense news”.  For example, in 2020 the day the largest number of Wills were drafted was the day after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care.

However, there is also evidence that while the pandemic was a catalyst, the reasons could be more cultural.

Even before the pandemic, both the millennials and Generation Z had been dubbed the “death positive generation”.  It has been noted they were already preparing more Wills and making more funeral arrangements than their predecessors.

Of course, the reasons for this would vary from person to person.  For some it was first-hand experience of the recent bereavement of a loved one.

For others it was an extension of the growing belief that everyone has a personal responsibility to get the most important things in order and not bury our heads in the sand.

For others it was the acceptance that the future is inevitable, and practicality has to trump sentimentality.

All these reasons tie back to the facts.  More Wills are being written but their contents are not limited to property and finances; they contain much more about personal wishes and more personal items including, notably, what they want to happen to their pets.

Why should young people make Wills?

So having looked at why more young adults are making Wills, it’s probably worth ending by quickly underlining why it’s so important for young people to make Wills.

Here are our top 4 reasons:

  1. It’s the only way to make sure what you want to happen to your savings/possessions/property definitely happens.
  2. It’ll make sure your family are protected in terms of being able to access the assets you want them to have without it getting tied up in red tape for months.
  3. It makes sure nothing is lost in your email, on your computer or in digital files as no one will be able to access these without having to go through court.
  4. It protects you partner. There is a common misconception that your assets and property automatically passed to your partner when you pass. This is only the case if you’re married so you need to put that additional protection in place.

If you would like to talk to one of our experienced lawyers about writing a Will or updating an existing Will, please email Deniece.Lines@collinshoy.com.