The last two years have seen an increase in the younger generation in particular drafting wills. The pandemic created a degree of uncertainty amongst us all, so it is not a surprise that more people started to plan for the "what ifs". Before Covid-19, mortality was not a topic most liked to think about, or did so regularly, but with the daily death count and hospital admissions on the news daily, it was hard to ignore. For many, including Gen Z and millennials, this prompted the creation of a will to ensure their loved ones were looked after and their affairs were in order if they were to die unexpectedly.
Have your circumstances changed?
The pandemic changed a lot of our circumstances in many different and sometimes unexpected ways. Whether it was moving in with your partner (and never moving out again), welcoming a new life into the world, getting on the property ladder, saying goodbye to loved ones, or going your separate ways with your spouse, all of these changes are a reason to create a will or to ensure your current will is up to date.
Why are younger generations writing wills?
The post-recession and now pandemic generation know how extraordinarily uncertain the future can be and are increasingly becoming savvier with regards to their finances and want to take control. With all the financial vulnerabilities that have come from Covid-19, young people are sensing the need to do things differently and start planning ahead now.
People don't like uncertainty
If we have learnt anything from the pandemic, it is that we really do not know what is around the corner and if you pass away without a will in place, there is no guarantee that your estate will go to the person you would like to inherit. If you die without a will, there is a strict order in which your estate will be inherited, and this does not always reflect your relationships with those people.
For example, it is not a given that your spouse will inherit your full estate. If your estate is over a certain amount, a share could fall to other members of your family that you would have never intended to benefit.
If you are unmarried partners living together, then you are not automatically entitled to inherit from your partner's estate. You would require to apply to the court to be entitled to anything, and even then, whether the court awards you something is discretionary, can be unpredictable and is not guaranteed.
Peace of mind
Putting a will in place gives you the comfort of knowing who will inherit from your estate and gives you the opportunity to take some control to ensure your loved ones are looked after and relieved of any extra stress and expense in an already difficult time. People can always revisit and change their will as life progresses; however, the global crisis has, even for the Gen Zers, whet the appetite for peace of mind.