Latest data from Oxfordshire law firm Hedges reveals how 2024 could be the year more Brits start later life planning with January seeing a spike in people searching for ‘Wills’ and ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ as they look to secure their parents’ financial future, as well as their own.
According to recent research from Canada Life, a third (33%) of UK adults 55 years or older, have not made a will. Reasons given include the belief they have plenty of time (22%), they don’t feel they have enough assets or wealth to require a will (25%), or they assume a loved one will automatically inherit (15%).
Yet, analysis of current Google trends data by Hedges, one of Oxfordshire’s longest serving law firms, saw a significant rise in people searching for ‘Wills’ and ‘Will Services’ in January, compared to the year before.
Findings have revealed that during the first 10 days of the new year, ‘Wills’ was one of the most popular search terms for Brits, hitting the highest peak (100) on the 10th, which was nearly a 10% increase when compared to the same period in 2023. While Christmas Eve saw the biggest spike in searches for ‘Power of Attorney’ with searches continuing well into the New Year.
Rebecca Kashti, Business Development Director and solicitor, from Hedges said: “It’s encouraging to see that the public’s interest in wills is increasing, especially with a plethora of data out there confirming that there is still a high percentage of people in the UK without a will. Other reports have also confirmed that inheritance disputes are on the rise, having increased by more than 140% in the last decade. Having a will in place is the critical first step to protecting inheritance and to increasing financial security for you and your loved ones.
“However, later life planning goes beyond just a will. At the start of the year we often see an increase in enquiries, as much as a 69% some years, as people worry about how to help their elderly relatives maintain their independence as well as ways to protect their relatives’ finances, and their own inheritance, against the risk of things such as care home fees and tax.
When analysing Google trends data, Hedges also found that year on year, the first few days of January is one of the most popular times for Brits to search for care homes, with 4th January this year and last year, hitting a peak in popularity with a 90 out of 100 search score.
Rebecca continues: “The Christmas break is often a time when families spend more time with each other. It’s when we notice changes in our elderly relatives and start to worry about their future needs and how to cope as a family, especially the pressures of managing their own family needs against those of their elderly parents or relatives. According to an Age UK survey there are around 5.7 million adults (69%) who when asked said ‘they would find it hard to care for or support their parent(s) while juggling their own life’, such as their job and children.
“It’s never too late to start planning and being proactive can help save a lot of time, stress and cost in the future. From inheritance protection support to property and downsizing advice, to bespoke services that support those who want to maintain their independence, all of this should be part of your later life legal plan, supported and devised by a specialist legal provider.”