According to a recent survey conducted by leading law firm Blandy & Blandy Solicitors, which has offices in Reading, Henley-on-Thames and London, 52 per cent of adults aged over 35 and living in south east England do not have a Will.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 11 per cent said that they did have a Will but they were unsure if it was up-to-date, while 37 per cent confirmed that they had a current Will in place.

Perhaps more surprisingly, only one in four of those who did not have a Will said that this was something they actively planned to address in the next year.

Reading Chronicle: Blandy & Blandy’s Caroline CasagrandaBlandy & Blandy’s Caroline Casagranda

Caroline Casagranda, a partner in Blandy & Blandy’s highly rated Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts team, explained: “A Will is a vitally important document, to ensure that your personal affairs are taken care of and your loved ones' future interests are protected. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a large increase in enquiries related to making or updating Wills. We have also seen significant interest in putting Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place, something we routinely recommend that clients consider doing so that their wishes are taken into account should they become incapacitated.

"Your Will should deal with the appointment of executors, responsible for administering your estate in accordance with your wishes, any funeral details, the appointment of guardians and provision for any young children and any gifts or legacies you may want to leave to family, friends of good causes.”

Ms Casagranda reiterated the importance of keeping a Will up-to-date: “There are a number of key reasons you may want to review and update your Will; for example due to a marriage or divorce, the arrival of children or grandchildren or a change in your circumstances. In certain situations, a Will can also become invalid.”

  • 52 per cent of adults aged over 35 and living in south east England do not have a Will.
  • Nearly a quarter of those who did have a Will were unsure if it was up-to-date.
  • “A Will is a vitally important document” – Blandy & Blandy Solicitors.
  • Increased number of clients seeking to make or update their Will as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She suggested that many couples, including those who own property, may not consider making Wills until having a family or indeed later in life, but cautioned against this: “According to the Office for National Statistics, on average men have children at 33, while women do so at 30, and the average first-time buyers are also 33.

“If a person dies without a Will, their estate will be administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules, meaning that their wishes may not be taken into account.

“Only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under these rules.  The legislation does not cater for unmarried couples or family structures that do not meet the ‘norm’; for instance, blended families.”

While the firm’s offices remain closed in line with the Government’s guidance, Blandy & Blandy continues to provide a full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses, with lawyers and advisors working remotely.

Blandy & Blandy is recognised as a top tier firm of solicitors in the UK’s leading guides to law firms, Chambers High Net Worth Guide and The Legal 500, and was named 'Best Probate Law Firm – London/South East' at the UK-wide 2019 Probate Research Awards.

The firm recently reaffirmed its commitment to Reading and the Thames Valley, renewing leases at its  1 Friar Street and 33 Blagrave Street offices in a move that will take the firm close to its 300th anniversary.

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