More than two fifths (44%) of homeowners do not have a will in place; of those who don’t have a will because they have ‘nothing valuable to pass on’, one in six own a property, according to research from Royal London.

Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London, said: “It’s surprising that some people don’t think their home is worth including in their will. Writing a will seems to be seen as an admin task that never makes it to the top of the “to-do” list.  It’s worth making it a priority as having a will in place could help avoid any unnecessary distress at an already difficult time for loved ones.”

March is Free Wills Month and Royal London asked homeowners and adults about their wills and decision-making process.

Free Wills Month offers people aged 55 and over the chance to write or update their will free of charge with selected charities.

One in five (21%) adults without a will said they didn’t have one because they have nothing valuable to pass on. However, one in six (16%) of those who said they have ‘nothing valuable to pass on’ also own a property.

“Writing a will seems to be seen as an admin task that never makes it to the top of the “to-do” list.  It’s worth making it a priority as having a will in place could help avoid any unnecessary distress at an already difficult time for loved ones.”

The research also shows that since creating their first will, around four in ten (43%) of those who have bought a property have not updated their will to include this change.

Surprisingly, 16% of people aged over 55 do not have a will, but do own a home either outright or with a mortgage.

According to the study, homeowners found deciding who to appoint as executor and trustee (24%) (someone who sorts out your estate and carries out your wishes after your death) the most difficult part of writing a will. The next hardest decision was who would benefit from the will (20%).

Kay Ingram, director of public policy, at national IFA firm, LEBC says in her blog: “There are a number of very good reasons why we should all take the time to make a will and keep it up- to-date. If your circumstances change, an existing will can easily become invalid or unfit for purpose so you must review it regularly. Always review your will after having children, getting married, on separation or divorce or if any of these things happen to beneficiaries of your will, such as your children or grandchildren.”