It’s estimated that approximately 70% of the British public do not have a Will. This takes into account all age groups. When we look at the more senior age groups I am still surprised that just under a quarter of 65-74 year olds and 12% of over 75’s still don’t a Will.

More worryingly, 70% of over 75’s have yet to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, equivalent to more than 4 million people. And among those aged 65-74, more than 5 million people had not put a Power of Attorney in place either.

A Will is the only way to express how you’d like to have your estate shared after you die. There can also be financial benefits to planning in advance how, and when, to pass on inheritances.

None of us like to contemplate our own mortality. It’s tempting to think “it won’t happen to me” or “I’ll deal with it later”.

7% of people over the age of 65 have dementia and the risk of developing dementia rises to one in six over the age of 80. And, let’s face it, we’re all going to go one day.

We all have the right to a conversation about what matters most to us when we are approaching the end of our life. While these conversations are best had as early as possible, too many of us are not having these conversations early enough, or at all, covering all the issues that matter to us

Ruth Driscoll, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, England at the end of life charity Marie Curie, said:
“The Government’s new Heath and Care Bill proposes more patient choice about services and treatments– which is to be welcomed – but it does not go far enough. We want everyone with a terminal diagnosis to have the right to be offered a conversation about their needs, wishes and preferences. These conversations would cover their medical needs, but also wider practical concerns like will-writing and power of attorney. These conversations about care and legacy can also offer a huge amount of comfort to grieving loved ones, helping them to feel they did all the right things for their loved one at the end of life.”