2021 - The Year in Wills Reviewed

happy family

Over 21,000 Wills were written via the FreeWills.co.uk platform in 2021 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 2021

1. Many more people are writing Wills online.

2. The average range of people making Wills is getting younger.

3. More Wills are being completed on mobile devices.

4. Solicitors' share of Will writing market declined yet again.

5. Legacy donations to charities continue to rise.

Approximately 18% 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 2021 than in any previous year before.
  • The average age range of people writing Wills has fallen.
  • Mobile devices now account for 42% of all Wills created via our site.
  • The mystique in Will writing put forward by many solicitors has been exposed, with their market share eroding.
  • 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 with a covid mask

2021 was once again impacted by Coronavirus as it proved to be another disruptive year with the pandemic playing its part in more Wills being written as it focused peoples' minds on thinking about their own mortality.

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.

For many weeks during lockdown solicitors' offices were closed, and even when they were open, the limitations of social distancing and the difficulties of meeting at a solicitor's office made people look at alternatives. The inflexible working practices of many solicitors firms is a factor that has helped accelerate the move to online Will writing.

Video Will witnessing, introduced in 2020, continued to be negligible.

Funeral arrangements were significantly impacted in the early part of the year, with limitations placed upon washing, dressing and holding a person's body, as well as restrictions on the numbers allowed to attend funerals.

The Demographics of Will Writing

People of all ages are writing Wills

< 30 5%
30-39 12%
40-49 16%
50-59 25%
60-69 23%
70-79 13%
80+ 6%

The average age for people writing their Wills was 54.6

33% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people aged under 50.

48% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people aged in their 50s or 60s.

19% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people aged 70 or older.

Marital Status

48% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website were written by people who were married.

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

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

51% of Wills were written by men, and 49% by women.

Married 48%
Single 27%
Divorced 10%
Widowed 7%
Engaged 5%
Other 3%

Funeral Choices

Cremation 56%
Burial 10%
Medical Science 6%
Natural Burial 4%
No Preference 24%

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

56% of people would like to be cremated.

10% of people would prefer a burial in a cemetery.

4% of people would prefer a natural woodland burial.

Most Popular Gifted Items

We allow people to leave gifts in their Wills. Here are the top ten gifted items for 2021:-

1. Money
2. Jewellery
3. Cars
4. Watches
5. Money to look after pets
6. Second properties
8. Home Contents
9. Tools
10. Clothing
Legacy Donations in 2021
leaving gifts in a will

11% of all Wills written via the FreeWills.co.uk website included a donation to charity.

Over £33 million was pledged to charity in 2021 via Freewills.co.uk which equates to the equivalent of £644,000 every week.

934 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.

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 grown to become the UK's second largest Will writing company.
Currently 1 in 20 Wills written in the UK are written via our Website.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We are full members of The Society of Will Writers.
ALL Wills are checked, vetted and approved by practising solicitors.

If you have any queries on this review, the 2020 Wills review, or any other matter please contact us