Searches for a Will online hit an all-time high in December last year.

In the UK to date (12 January 2021), deaths from the coronavirus have hit 81,960 and more than 3 million cases.

According to an analysis of Google activity by the marketing agency AccuraCast as reported on the i website, searches for Wills peaked at the beginning of December. The agency said: “People now realise they need to prepare for the worst”.

More people searching compared to pandemic beginning

Farhad Divecha, founder of AccuraCast, said that more people were searching online for Wills in December than at any other time of the year including the beginning of the pandemic, reflecting the sharp peak in cases and deaths that occurred. He added that he attributed this to the reality of Covid-19 sinking in, and making people realise they needed to prepare for the worst, even if that was not a pleasant thought.

Other research has shown that grandparents in the UK want to pass on more of their wealth to their grandchildren when they die to help provide more security for families hard hit by economic consequences of the pandemic.

The investment firm Killik & Co surveyed 2,006 grandparents, finding that one in seven of them had reassessed how they plan to pass on their assets because of world events. Two in five said they would increase the amount of money they give to their younger heirs.

Pressure to pass on money

Svenja Keller, head of wealth planning at Killik & Co, said it was understandable that grandparents felt under more pressure to pass on money and assets thanks to the pandemic’s effects on the economy and job prospects for young people.

However, Wills are still legal documents many people do not have in place. AccuraCast’s survey of some 1,000 people found that 60 percent do not have one.

Mr Divecha added that he found the figure interesting, given that a Will was the most important financial document anyone could have, regardless of their age.

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