Those in the North West are least likely to have a will
Meanwhile the same survey of 2,000 UK residents also found people had inherited various quirky items from an axe to a stuffed snake, a tortoise to a horse and from a bed to a Victorian trumpet.
However, the weirdest items included: one sock and one shoe, "my father’s spade” and “my granny’s false teeth”!
The survey by Danebury Research for legal technology company, Estatesearch found that only 39 per cent of people in the North West have a will, compared with a 47 per cent national average and 58 per cent in London.
And well over half of respondents in the North as a whole didn’t know if their will had been registered with a will registry service compared to 53 per cent nationally.
Ben Furlong, customer services director at Estatesearch, said: “Much of our work is about supporting clients in identifying the full extent of a person's estate, in a bereavement or loss of mental capacity case.
"This was a serious study to ascertain how easily people can locate or already know the whereabouts of assets like life insurance, pensions, savings, premium bonds and share certificates.
"It revealed that 30 per cent of people can’t easily locate or don’t know the whereabouts of their personal pensions for example. The same applied to 32 per cent when questioned about other policies such as life insurance.
"A further 38 per cent of people had not, or were unsure, if they had informed their next of kin where to find information pertaining to a National Savings and Investments account.
“We also discovered less than half the respondents have a will and of these, less than a third say that it is up to date (28 per cent).”
Further findings included:
• There is a clear gender disparity with well over half of male respondents confirming they have a will (54 per cent) compared with only 41 per cent of women.
• Well over a third (38 per cent) of people have made, updated or considered making a will due to the Covid pandemic. In the 18 to 24-year-old age group this rose to more than half, compared with only 21 per cent of those over 55.• As expected, younger people are less likely to have a will. In the 18 to 24 bracket 38 per cent of respondents have a will compared with just over half of 55 to 64-year-olds and 70 per cent of over-65s.• If a spouse or significant other passed away, 35 per cent of respondents said they would not be able to locate all their assets.
Mr Furlong said: “Inspired by the Bond film Skyfall, where Judi Dench’s character M left James Bond a Bulldog figurine in her Will, we also decided to find out what interesting or unusual items people had inherited. Further answers included: a boat, a cutlery set, an egg timer, a penny, a torch, a handmade hairspray can cover and a gun!