The majority of Britons have not written a will according to research from the Law Society. The legal body has now warned that the consequences of dying without a valid will can be dire for those left behind. The research revealed that 73 per cent of 16-54 year olds donít have a will, while 64 per cent of people over the age of 55 have made their final wishes clear in a will. The research also found that men are more likely to have a will and keep it updated than women.

£8m went to the government because people had not written a will

Last year, £8m went to the government because people died intestate. Twenty-three per cent of respondents wrongly believed that without a will, their possessions would automatically go to their family. It is estimated that by 2018 the government will receive nearly £6bn from inheritance tax. But by careful planning, such as leaving money to charity, those with a will can substantially reduce the amount of inheritance tax that becomes liable or even alleviate it all together. Inheritance tax can be a lot higher without a will.

But why should it matter, you wonít be around to worry about the consequences right? Well, unfortunately it will be your family and loved ones who will need to sort the financial and emotional mess created by not having the correct plans in place. Worse still, if you are unmarried with a partner and you have no will in place at all, they could well receive nothing.

Your final legacy

But this need not be your final legacy. The reason most people cite for not making a will is that they simply havenít got around to it or they donít believe they have any assets to be concerned about. However, if you have a house, savings, pensions or other financial affairs Ė that means you have assets!

Making a will doesnít have to be a complicated or expensive process either. There are lots of options available from on-line services to personal one-to-one consultations with professional advisors, the choices are endless. So take advantage of the options available and donít delay until tomorrow what you can do today!