A recent report highlights current trends involving Will writing and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). The review looked at over 200,000 Wills and 140,000 LPAs. 
Last Will and Testament
The results show charitable legacies continue to rise. In 2023 more than one in 10 Wills included charitable donations. That’s a significant increase from the previous year. This trend confirms data from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) showing an overall increase in charitable contributions across the UK. 
Changes in charitable giving. Women are 10% more likely to include a charitable legacy in their Wills compared to men. The report also suggests leaving charitable gifts in Wills becomes more likely as people grow older. 
Preferences and popular bequests. Of the important documents prepared, over half of people wrote Wills and around a third set up LPAs. However, only one in 10 prepared other documents like letters of wishes or living Wills, also known as advanced decisions
The average age of people setting up LPAs is 67, which is a 9-year difference compared to people writing Wills. 
The most popular gifts in Wills include cash, property, pets, and items like jewellery, watches, vehicles, collections, and medals. 
Exclusions. You can leave people out of your Will although it’s a good idea to explain why to avoid a dispute later. Around one in 10 Wills exclude someone as a beneficiary. Sons and daughters, stepsons and stepdaughters account for nearly half of all exclusions. Exclusion from Wills are more likely for men than women. 
Funeral arrangements. Cremation remains the most popular choice and is requested in over half of all Wills. However, more than a third don’t provide any specific instructions. If you don’t want to include your funeral preferences in your Will you can provide a letter of wishes. You can write, sign and date a letter to keep with your Will telling your executors what you’d like. 
Organ donation. One in five pledge organs for medical or scientific benefit in their Will, although many people exclude their eyes. 
Trustees. Only about one in 20 people appoint a professional trustee in their Will. In four out of 10 Wills someone’s partner is appointed to act as a sole trustee to execute their estate. 
There’s certainly a lot to think about when you’re writing a Will of setting up an LPA. Planning your estate and making your wishes clear can reduce liability for Inheritance Tax (IHT). You can also make sure your family and friends inherit as you would wish. 
Please get in touch if you would like to write or update your Will or set up LPAs. 
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