Where there's a Will there's a Gen Zer as 20% of 18 to 24 year-olds emerge as Will makers

  • 20% of Gen Z adults (18 to 24 year olds) say they have made a will
  • Only 21% of Gen Y (25 to 40 year olds) and 32% of Gen X (41 to 56 year olds) have a will – and just 40% of overall population
  • Men more likely to have made a will than women (44% vs. 37%)
  • Just 4% of people whose financial plans were affected by Covid have made sure they have a will
  • Two-thirds (65%) of Gen Z adults want to be able to leave an inheritance

As many as a fifth (20%) of young adults aged 18 to 24 say they have already made a will, according to insights from Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK.

Getting their affairs in order at such an early age compares favourably relative to the UK adult population overall where just four in ten (40%) people have made a will.

It would appear that Gen Z is also ahead of the game as just 21% of their Generation Y contemporaries (those aged between 25 and 40), and 32% of Generation X (those aged between 41 and 56) have made a will.

Unsurprisingly it’s the older generations that lead the way as these age groups are likely to have gone through life changes warranting estate planning, such as starting a family, buying property, caring for older family or planning their own retirement. Among the Silent generation (75+ years old), 82% have a will, as do 65% of UK Baby Boomers (57 to 75 years old).

Jenny Holt, Customer, Savings and investment Director at Standard Life, comments: “While it may be an uncomfortable subject to think about, creating a will is an important part of financial wellbeing and planning for the future. It can provide peace of mind that loved ones are supported after you die, and also helps ensure your assets are dealt with in the way that you want. It’s promising that so many young people have already put a will in place and are mindful of the long financial journey they have ahead.

“Irrespective of your life stage, making a will at any age is important and something we’d encourage as part of engaging with your finances and helping improve your financial wellbeing. As you move through life, circumstances change, as do the potential risks and complications when you pass away, so it’s wise to update or create a new will after big life moments such as getting married, starting a family or buying a new property. And, if you are saving into a pension remember to update your beneficiary nomination too, as they’re not covered by the rules governing wills. And while you can write your will yourself, it may be advisable to speak to a solicitor or expert will-writer for support.”

Will Making Gender Gap

Standard Life’s research also found that men and higher earners are more likely to have their affairs in order:

  • More than two-fifths (44%) have a will, compared to 37% of females
  • 61% of those earning £70k+ per year and half (54%) of those earning between £40k and £70k have a will, compared to just 35% of those earning less than £20k, and 41% of those earning between £20k and £40k

The findings are contained in Standard Life’s study Bringing Retirement into focus with research conducted among almost 5,000 consumers across the UK.

Impact of Covid

Standard Life’s research also found that the pandemic has not necessarily driven people to create a will, with just 4% of those whose financial plans or approach to savings have been impacted by Covid, making a will.

Younger generation planning for the journey ahead

The research also reveals that two-thirds (65%) of Gen Z adults want to be able to leave an inheritance, although many are conscious of the financial pressures they may face later in life that could hinder their ability to pass on assets. A quarter (25%) already expect to be paying for long-term care for a loved one in retirement, and 25% also expect to help their parents/in-laws financially.

For those aged 55 and over, Free Wills Month runs throughout March, offering the opportunity to have a simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations across England, Wales and Scotland.


Media enquiries

For further information, photos, video content or interviews, contact:

Sarah Muir
07870 397537
Darragh Leeson
Standard Life
07707 270001


Notes to editors


1 - Boxclever conducted research among 4,896 UK adults. The research is nationally representative of UK adult population in terms of age, gender, region, with 578 people falling into Generation Z.

Quantitative fieldwork was conducted between 16th and 23rd July 2021.

Qualitative fieldwork was conducted between 3rd and 11th August 2021.

Further data available on request.

About Standard Life 
Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples’ life savings for nearly 200 years.
Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers’ pension scheme.
Standard Life is part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We’re proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together.
Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people’s needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We’re proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
We support our cusotmers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy to understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about.
The value of investments can go down as well as up, and may be worth less than originally invested.


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