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Spring clean your estate planning, advises Standard Life

12th February 2008 Print
Despite a will being the key part of everyone’s overall financial and estate planning, the most recent Wills and Trusts Research Report from Standard Life has revealed that people are still not putting their personal affairs in order.

The research showed that:-

50% of the UK population do not have a will (2006 – 50%)

Those who are widowed, separated or divorced are more likely to have a will in place than those who are married or cohabiting

75% of the UK population have not signed a power of attorney (2006 – 74%)

Those who are married or cohabiting are more likely to have signed a power of attorney than those who are widowed, separated or divorced

30% of the population feel strongly about the kind of funeral that they want, with women more likely to have strong feelings about their funeral arrangements than men

41% of the population have not told their family where important documents are stored

Julie Hutchison, Estate Planning Specialist at Standard Life Assurance Limited, commented: “It seems the best of intentions are just not translated into action. We want to give people some food for thought in the New Year as they might want to make 2008 the year they take matters in hand and put their affairs in order. I am particularly concerned about the high percentage who do not have powers of attorney and wonder whether the change in legislation in England will really do anything to improve the position.”

As shown above, the research also highlighted that 41% of those surveyed had not stored important documents together and told someone where these were located.

Julie commented: “As the paperwork requirements for reporting IHT matters to HM Revenue & Customs become more detailed, you can minimise the headache for your family by taking simple, sensible measures to put your paperwork in order, so you give you and your family maximum peace of mind. This can be particularly important for the new IHT rules which apply for claiming the new, enhanced nil rate band for spouses and civil partners.”