Lloyds Bank

Digital advancement puts us at risk of being unprepared for death

15 January 2018

  • Two thirds (60%) of adults with important financial information online haven’t told their next of kin about their online financial accounts

  • Whereas one in ten have thought about their Facebook account when they die

  • Over three-quarters (78%) of todays under 45s don’t have a will

  • Almost half of parents don’t have plans for their children in the event of their death

As we live in an increasingly digitalised world, research shows that people aren’t keeping up with documenting their financial affairs, according to new online findings from Lloyds Bank, which reveals exactly how prepared the nation is for death.

The research revealed that nearly two thirds (60%) of British adults with important financial information online 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 even more trivial concerns - more than one in 10 (11%) said that they’d considered what will happen to their Facebook page in the event of their death. 

To help navigate through the complexities of a loved one’s accounts, Lloyds Bank’s Bereavement team offers specially trained1 advisers that provide help and guidance face to face or over the telephone. 

In line with advancing technology, life expectancy in the UK has reached its highest ever levels prompting people to think they have more time to prepare. This has created a nation at risk of being unprepared, with more than three-quarters (78%) of todays under 45s, and as many as nine in ten (89%) of under 35 year olds without a will. 

Not only is the fate of many people’s finances undetermined, 2 in 5 (43%) of parents to under 18’s have not planned for their children’s future in the event of their death, including over 1 in 10 (13%) parents that have never even thought about it. 

The study shows that an average of 2.9million children2 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. 

True to the nation’s typical ‘stiff upper lip’, over a third (38%) of respondents said that they’d never spoken to their loved ones about their personal and financial affairs in the event of their death. Most averse to these conversations are men (43%), compared to 34% of women. Regionally, Londoners (42%) and people in the North (43%) are amongst those most likely to avoid the topic. 

Robin Bulloch, Managing Director, Lloyds Bank, said:

“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. 

“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. 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. 

“Most of us will naturally turn to family or friends to help manage a loved one’s affairs, however over a third of us don’t feel confident to manage their finances. This can include anything from accessing bank accounts to sorting out investments and pensions.” 

Lloyds Bank is committed to supporting family members of the recently deceased through its bereavement team. Our specially trained1 bereavement advisers will provide help and guidance face to face or over the telephone on how to navigate the complexities of your loved one’s accounts and can help you gain access to funds to cover funeral expenses if required. This support can help to take away further stress and worry at what is always a difficult time. This includes only having to ‘Tell us Once’ across our retail brands of Lloyds Banking Group, for example Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, and Birmingham Midshires, even where the representative is unaware of products and relationships held elsewhere in the Group.

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