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Wills - What you should know infographic

Posted on 20 May 2015

SunLife's simple infographic explores all things Will related

Do you have a Will? Did you know the majority of people in the UK don't? 57% of us to be precise. Have you thought what would happen if you died without one?

Our latest infographic takes a look at all things Will related. From the age at which we decide to put pen to paper, who's more likely to have a Will, and how many of us decide to leave money to charity.

It also throws up some interesting questions you might not have thought about. Like what if you left your beloved pet behind? And what would happen to your online profiles? We explain how social media accounts can be deactivated.

The big question is, what if you died having never made a Will, referred to as dying intestate? Where would your money and possessions go? Never assume. The rules around intestacy changed recently and may not be what you expect. Here, we show you in simple terms exactly how it works.

On a lighter note, Harry Houdini's final wishes and Dusty Springfield's cat also get a mention.

Wills - What you should know

If writing your Will is sitting on your to do list, download our free Wills guide for more helpful information on the process.

Who's got a Will?

43% of people have a Will, meaning the majority of people don’t. Only 46% of men have a Will and even fewer women – just 38%.

Growing older and writing a Will

On first glance, it may look like people with a Will are in the minority, but it actually varies dramatically with age. Whilst only 16% of 20-29 year olds have a Will in place, this rises to more than 70% of 60-69 year olds and 85% of those 70 and over.

It makes sense that the older we are, the more likely we are to have a Will. Many of us feel too young to need a Will, but the reality is people of all ages die and we never know what's around the corner.

Where there's a Will… and where there isn't

The map shows the percentage of people in each region of the UK who don't have a Will and the proportion is high. In fact, only one region, the South West, falls just below 50%, possibly due to a high retiree population, with the remaining regions averaging 58%.

Deactivating online accounts

We've set out the specific information required by some of the most frequently held social media accounts, to deactivate a user's account when they die.

As well as social media, other online services like email and banking will require specific information to deactivate the user's account. Making a record of the accounts you hold and your user details will help with this when the time comes. Only your executor will need this information though, so don't record it in your Will. When a Will goes to probate it becomes a public record for all to see.

Giving to charity in a Will

Leaving money to charity in your Will not only gives valuable help to a worthy cause, it could also be exempt from inheritance tax.

£2 billion is left to charity each year but only 17% of Wills that go to probate include a charitable gift.

Remembering a cherished pet

Putting instructions in your Will ensures your loyal companion is taken proper care of after you're gone. The RSPCA offer a free service Home for Life, which pledges to find a new home for your pet, if you don't know someone willing to adopt them. Some people even put money aside in a trust to keep their pet in the style to which they've become accustomed.

Dying without a Will

When a person dies without a leaving a valid Will – referred to as dying intestate - their estate must be shared out according to the Rules of Intestacy. These changed recently for the first time since 1925, so even if you think you know the rules, it could be wise to check the diagram. What happens may not be what you'd hope, particularly if you have children but aren't married or in a civil partnership.

If you're thinking about writing your Will, and would like to learn more, you may also find our article 10 reasons to make a Will interesting.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.