Dealing with death: Do major national events impact demand for wills and estate planning?


 Dealing with death: Do major national events impact demand for wills and estate planning?

Dealing with death: Do major national events impact demand for wills and estate planning?

The passing of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rocked the United Kingdom to an extent rarely seen; her death, and the subsequent proceedings, was a national event of monumental significance.

The significance of the event is something shared only with that of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine in recent times.

One unfortunate shared characteristic of these events is that they propelled the subject of mortality into the spotlight. In the case of the pandemic, however, this had the silver lining of encouraging people to get their affairs in order by having a will written and making provisions for their estate.

Will the passing of the Queen have a similar effect? Here’s what several key voices within the industry told had to say.

Ian Bond, Head of Wills & Estates, Thursfields Solicitors

Just as the Covid-19 pandemic spurred demand, the signs are showing that the passing of the Queen is starting to see an increase in demand for wills but also for putting affairs in order with pre-planned funeral services.

As a nation, we marvelled at the detailed planning that had been put in place for the death of the monarch and how this was meticulous carried out as a tribute to the Queen.

The planning by the Queen on how she wanted to be remembered showed the best of British and is a guide to many who now also want to make sure that their family know their wishes.

We marvelled at the sea of floral tributes and were touched by those leaving marmalade sandwiches, but this spurred many to set out what they would want.

For many (and from my own personal experience) clients are turning away from floral tributes in preference to asking for donations in lieu of flowers to a charity of their choice; making a meaningful difference for the charity, not introducing unnecessary packaging into the environment, and helping with the cost of living as making the donation affordable rather than linked to the cost of expensive floral tributes.

I was touched by one client who set aside funds in their will for a wake at their golf club and required that an equal amount was given to the local food bank.

The death of the Queen will see an increased demand for wills as the past few years has seen the nations way of dealing with death change.

Rather than being seen as morbid matter with people putting aside making a will as a boring-but-important task to do another day, these tragic national events have given many the opportunity to choose how they want to be remembered and to put their affairs in order; that can only be a good thing.

Eleanor Evans, Partner, Head of Trusts and Estate Administration, Hugh James

People often decide to make a will following a major life event such as having a child, getting divorced, or a death in the family. The days following the death of Queen Elizabeth II have been a time of reflection for many.

Whilst considering the Queen’s long and eventful reign, people may also be contemplating their own lives and the legacy they will leave when they die. This may lead to an increase in people making wills, so they can ensure that when they die, their families are provided for as they wish. The commitment shown by the royal family to charitable causes may also prompt people to consider leaving legacies to charities in their wills.

Dave Newick, CEO,

The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II – these events stand as a staunch reminder of our own mortality.

All our clients reported an increase in the number of enquiries over the pandemic. They also found that a lot of younger people were enquiring too, reminding us that sadly, death (and worrying about death) doesn’t always discriminate by age.

Jamie Lennox




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