Millions of people who have drafted a will refuse to talk about the details with their loved ones, according to new research.
While document is an important financial planning element, huge numbers of people are too scared about upsetting their families and loved ones by telling them their final wishes.
The research by financial giant Royal London revealed 27% want to avoid upsetting their beneficiaries, so keep quiet about what they have written in their wills.
Another 26% say they don’t like to think about dying, so do not discuss the contents of their wills with others.
Surprisingly, 45% of mums and dads with adult children felt that their wills were private and should not be discussed with their families.
Mona Patel, Royal London’s consumer spokesperson, said: “Many people have a natural fear of talking about death and associated emotions, but do not realise it is important that they have these conversations to ensure their beneficiaries are aware of their wishes and understand them.
“Talking about dying is ‘taboo’ and it is not always easy to bring it up. Discussing your will with beneficiaries means they are better prepared when the time comes. It is also hugely important for family members to be aware of vital decisions in your will, such as who will look after your children.”
Another worry among today’s ‘blended’ families is if estranged children can inherit.
According to the Co-op Legal Services, if someone dies without a will, the spouse or civil partner is entitled to the first £250,000 of an estate, with the rest divided equally with any children.
If someone has a will leaving out a child, then they probably will not inherit, but some circumstances allow them to make a claim.
“What happens largely depends on whether the person who died had a legally valid will in place at the time of their death. If they did not make a will then their estranged child may be entitled to inherit from them under inheritance laws called the rules of intestacy,” said a spokesman.
“Even if the deceased did leave a will, it is sometimes possible for certain people to challenge a will, including children of the deceased regardless of whether they’re estranged.”