2020 - The Year in Wills Reviewed


Most Will writers reported an increase in business during 2020, and here at FreeWills we almost trebled our number of Wills written in 2020 over 2019. Over 20,000 Wills were written via the FreeWills.co.uk platform in 2020 which has given us a detailed insight into the composition of Wills written during the year. Carry on reading this review and/or download the full report here.

Top Will Writing Trends of 2020

1. Many more people are writing Wills online.

2. Will Writing doubled in 2020.

3. Solicitors' share of Will writing market declined.

4. Age range is getting younger.

5. More Wills are being completed on mobile devices.

6. Legacy donations to charities are on the rise.

Approximately 16% of all UK Wills are now written online
  • We now see the benefits of using online platforms to do things that just a few years would have been unthinkable.
  • More Wills have been written in 2020 than any other year before.
  • The mystique in Will writing put forward by many solicitors has been exposed, as their market share has been eroded.
  • The average age range of people writing Wills has fallen.
  • Mobile devices now account for over 20% of all Wills created via our site.
  • Pledges to charity through gifts in our Wills this year have been more generous than ever before.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Will Writing
will writing during the pandemic

2020 was a highly unusual year for all of us, and one of the few industries that prospered was that of Will Writing.

March and April were the months the most Wills were written during the year.

Our busiest day of the year in terms of Wills written was 23rd March, the day Boris Johnson ordered UK citizens to stay at home.

We saw a 78% increase in Wills written on 23rd March, compared to the week before.

The pandemic played its part in more Wills being written as it focused peoples' minds on thinking about their own mortality and made us all realise that we needed to do something that we had been putting off.

Lockdown gave people plenty of time at home to think about their loved ones, and with most solicitors offices closed, many people turned to online Will writing options with customers able to take advantage of the value for money and convenience offered.

Are solicitors days numbered? It did not help that for many weeks during lockdown their offices were closed, and even when they were open, the limitations of social distancing and the difficulties of meeting at a solicitor's office, at their convenience, made people look at alternatives. It is a factor in the move to online Will writing - with the percentage of Wills written online estimated at 16% of all Wills written in the UK.

The Demographics of Will Writing

People of all ages are writing Wills

< 30 5%
30-39 11%
40-49 16%
50-59 27%
60-69 23%
70-79 12%
80-89 6%

The average age for people writing their Wills has fallen to 55.

32% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people aged under 50.

50% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people aged in their 50s or 60s.

18% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people aged 70 or older.

Marital Status

49% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people who were married.

7% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people who were widowed.

37% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people who were single or divorced.

52% of Wills were written by men, and 48% by women.

Married 49%
Single 27%
Divorced 10%
Widowed 7%
Engaged 5%
Other 2%

Funeral Choices

Cremation 57%
Burial 11%
Medical Science 6%
Natural Burial 3%
No Preference 23%

We provide multiple options for people to choose what they would like to happen to their body after they die.

57% of people would like to be cremated.

11% of people would prefer a burial in a cemetery.

New for 2020, we gave people the option to select a natural burial, and 1 in 30 have selected this as their preference.

Music Choices

With non-religious ceremonies gaining in popularity, we allow our customers to choose songs they would like played at their funeral service. Here is the top ten for 2020:-

10. Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye – Vera Lynn
9. Bye Bye Baby – The Bay City Rollers
8. You'll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and The Pacemakers
7. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
6. Angels – Robbie Williams
5. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland
4. Spirit in the Sky - Doctor and the Medics
3. Time to Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli
2. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
1. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python

Most Popular Gifted Items

We allow people to leave gifts in their Wills. Here are the top ten gifted items for 2020:-

1. Jewellery
2. Money
3. Cars
4. Second properties
5. Home Contents
6. Antiques
7. Clothing
9. Tools
10. Money to look after pets
Legacy Donations in 2020
getting a will written

People were very generous...

10% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website included a donation to charity.

Over £26 million was pledged to charity in 2020 via Freewills.co.uk which equates to the equivalent of £516,373 every week.

878 different charities were remembered...

Legacy donations came in large and small amounts and covered the full breadth of charitable organisations, both large and small.

People chose to remember causes close to them, which spanned major fundraising organisations and many medium sized and smaller non-profits covering animal welfare, armed and ex-services, children's charities, community, culture, disabled, education, elderly, environment, family, health, hospices, housing, human rights, medical research and welfare, mental health, overseas aid, rescue services, social welfare, sport and recreation as well as religious charities.

People gave generously to all types of non-profits and the donations for the second half of the year eclipsed those of the first half, showing legacy donations are increasing.

For charities wishing to explore how FreeWills.co.uk can help with your legacy programmes, request a free demo at https://www.freewills.co.uk/charity

FreeWills.co.uk - the UK’s second largest Will Writing company.
happy family

We created FreeWills.co.uk with a clear mission - to provide an easy way for every British adult to make a personalised will, for free.
We have quickly grown to become the UK's second largest Will writing company.
Currently 1 in 25 Wills written in the UK are written via our Website.
We are profitable as we offer optional add-on paid services.
We are full members of The Society of Will Writers, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have any queries on this review or any other matter please contact us