Average age of people making wills rising in the UK

According to will writing software provider WillSuite, the average age of people making a will in the UK is now 58 years old, with the 50 to 70 years old range responsible for over half of the wills drafted.

The WillSuite Industry Report 2019

What is the average age of a testator in the UK?

A report on the will writing industry in England and Wales has been released by writing software provider, WillSuite. Based on data collected from over 50,000 wills and £6 billion worth of pledged gifts, The WillSuite Industry Report 2020 found that:

  • the average age of a testator (person making a will) in the UK is 58 years old
  • the 50 to 70 years old range were responsible for over half of the wills drafted in the UK

The findings found that since 2018 the age gap for UK testators has increased from 56.5 to 58, indicating that more work needs to be done to encourage younger adults to make a will.

The report also found that more wills were drafted for females last year than males at 51.74 per cent and 46.2 per cent respectively. However, these percentages do fall in line with average lifespan differences.

On the report’s findings, Director of WillSuite Seb Shakh said: “I think the report shows we as an industry need to do more to ensure we still appeal to a younger and more tech-centric market, and that we can do more to promote charitable giving.”

Why do testators exclude people from wills?

WillSuite also used AI techniques to explore why 10.7 per cent of testators specifically excluded people from their wills. The study showed that:

  • men were 14% more likely to be excluded from a will than women
  • almost half of testators (47%) said exclusions from wills were the result of ‘lack of contact’
  • the next most popular reason for exclusion from wills was ‘break-up of romantic relationships’ (18%)

Other popular reasons for excluding people as beneficiaries included disputes with the person involved, and the fact the person was already provided for or financially independent.

See also

Should under-20s write a will?

How to write a will

Find out more

The WillSuite Industry Report (WillSuite)

Perplexed by wills (Royal London)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 24 February 2020