A considerable number of people in Britain do not have wills drawn up, new research has found.
A study conducted by consumer group Which? found that 56 per cent of consumers surveyed did not have such a legal document in place.
Meanwhile, 33 per cent of those aged over 45 did not have wills, the organisation found.
Which? also discovered that many people were lacking in knowledge about wills.
For example, 77 per cent were unaware that if both parents die without having appointed guardians, the courts may have to decide who will look after their children.
"If you die without getting your affairs in order, your money, personal belongings and even your home could go to the person you least want to have them and your loved ones could lose out," warned Which? legal service senior lawyer Peter McCarthy.
Recently, Shelter Offshore advised people who are planning to emigrate to make sure they have a will in place before leaving the UK.