New research by Bank of Scotland has revealed that people in Scotland are becoming increasingly unprepared for death, particularly with regards to their digital lives.
Passing on Financial Information
More and more people are keeping important financial information online, but according to the research 50% of adults in Scotland who do this haven’t told their next of kin about their online accounts.
This is in stark contrast to the majority of people being clear about their paper finances and more trivial concerns – one in eight (13%) said that they’d considered what will happen to their Facebook page in the event of their death.
Increased Life Expectancy
Bank of Scotland highlights that people are living longer than ever before, and this increased life expectancy has led to people thinking they have more time to prepare for end of life.
As a result, people put off important tasks such as writing a will, which means that Scotland is increasingly becoming a nation at risk of being unprepared. Around 63% of adults in Scotland are currently without a will, which is a higher figure than for Britain as a whole (58%). Research by Lloyds Bank found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the younger generations are the least prepared, with 78% of under 45-year-olds and 89% of under 35-year-olds in Britain without a will.
Lack of Planning Regarding Children
In addition to a lack of preparation regarding financial information, people in Scotland are also apparently failing to prepare to plan for their children’s future. Around 47% of parents say have not put any plans in place for their children in the event of their death, and around 16% say they have never even thought about it.
According to Lloyds Bank, an average of 2.9million children across Britain could be without an appointed legal guardian if their parents passed away. Worryingly, a fifth (22%) of parents surveyed said that they are reluctant to prepare because they have a fear of death, while a quarter (25%) said that they simply haven’t found the time to make necessary arrangements.
Overall, 37% of those in Scotland said that they’d never spoken to their loved ones about their personal and financial affairs in the event of their death, closely in line with the national average of 38%.
“We all embrace technological advancement but this does mean that people need to make sure that they’re taking as much care of their online finances now we operate in a more paperless society,” said Robin Bulloch, Managing Director, Bank of Scotland.
“It’s not easy for anyone to think about a time when they won’t be around, and often even tougher to talk about it,” he added. “But our research shows that those who are left to organise the financial affairs of a loved one once they’ve passed away could be facing a challenging task. Either wills are not set out, accounts are not easily located or children are without legally binding guardianship. During what’s already a difficult time, this can add further pressure and upset.”
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