Around six in 10 UK adults are yet to make a Will, leaving tens of millions of people at risk of dying intestate.
The latest research, conducted by the website Unbiased.co.uk, reveals that a majority of the population has not taken steps to put their affairs in order.
Over a quarter of respondents said they intended to make a Will at a later date, while a sizeable proportion said they did not believe they had sufficient assets to make the process worthwhile. Others admitted they were unsure where to begin.
The survey showed that over 55s are more likely than younger people to have a valid Will, although even among this age group there is a sizeable minority who are yet to draw up a document.
Karen Barrett, chief executive and founder of Unbiased, said: “It looks as if people still aren’t getting the message. The huge benefits of having a Will, and the even bigger risks of not having one, should be far more widely known and talked about. People think a Will is just for the end of their life, and it is – but who knows when that will be?
“It’s clear that many people think they’re just not ‘rich enough’ to need a Will. This ignores the fact that a will makes inheritance a far quicker process – do they really want to keep their loved ones waiting longer, when that money might be badly needed?
“It also doesn’t take into account the complexity of modern families, which intestacy law simply doesn’t address. Children from previous marriages could end up receiving nothing at all.”