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The Year In Wills Report 2020: How COVID-19 made us all face our mortality

Last year saw a huge rise in people writing wills from home. After checking tens of thousands of wills last year, we can now reveal the biggest trends of 2020. And you can also download our full report for tips on making your will.

2020 was a year like no other, and that’s reflected in the way we plan for death. Keep reading to see some of the biggest trends and patterns of the last year. Or you can download the full report here.

There was a 267% rise in people making wills from home

The pandemic has made us reflect on our mortality more than ever. It’s also given us a lot of free time to do those jobs we can never get around to.

With daily death tolls on the evening news and lockdowns forcing us all to stay home, some of us just couldn’t put off making a will anymore.

Suddenly people were more open to sorting out their will at home, seeing that this can be more convenient while saving money.

12x more under-35s made wills in the peak of the pandemic

A will may seem like something you sort out when you’re old and grey. But in a year that made us all face our mortality, we saw huge numbers of younger people planning for death.

298% more Millennials made their will in 2020 vs. 2019 – and Gen Z saw an even bigger increase of 465%.

Whatever your age, a will is a great way to get peace of mind. It lets you name legal guardians for your children and pets, and you can also choose who you want to sort everything out when you’re gone.

World events have a big impact on demand

The day Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care, more people wrote a will with us than any other day in 2020. And that wasn’t just a one off. The day before restrictions lifted in May, we saw an +89% spike compared to the previous week.

Good news has a similar impact too. The day the Pfizer vaccine was approved, we saw a -35% dip. And on the third hottest day on record, we saw a -26% drop in people making wills.

When COVID-19 reaches public figures and death tolls hit shocking milestones, it makes us all feel a bit more vulnerable. And when this coincides with lockdown restrictions and bad weather, there’s isn’t much getting in the way of making a will.

Talking to family about your will can seem a bit taboo, but news events can really help to open up the conversation.

People pledged over £150 million to charity

When faced with our own mortality, we overwhelmingly think first of the people and causes we love.

In 2020, we saw £150 million pledged to charity through gifts in our wills, which is an incredible £400,000 a day.

We also found that people left more to their loved ones, with a 7% increase in cash gifts to family and friends.

This could be down to the rise in cause-motivated Gen Z and Millennials making wills. Or it could simply be that – in a year that stopped us from seeing our families and taking part in charity events – we all wanted to do something to help.

Download the full report here

Our Year In Wills Report covers all the biggest will writing trends of 2020 – and we've also got some tips to help open up the conversation with your family.
Download now