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Wills 'time-bomb' must be defused, says NCC

Over 27 million people in England and Wales do not have a will, creating a 'time-bomb' that urgently needs to be defused, the National Consumer Council (NCC) warned today. Research conducted by the NCC into will-writing behaviour found that most people who do not have a will blame not having got around to making it, or said that they did not want to think about dying. Steve Brooker from the NCC emphasised the importance of making a will, saying: "Dying without leaving a will can leave all sorts of headaches for those left behind. "It can create family feuds and leave relatives short of their inheritance. "One million people have already fallen through the safety net provided by the inheritance laws, or know someone who has. "With family structures changing, government and business must act now before millions more suffer." Unmarried couples are most affected by not making a will, risking losing property, personal possessions and cash if their partner dies without leaving a will. Parents should also make writing a will a priority, the NCC said, warning that should both parents die unexpectedly without a will, the courts may be left to decide who should look after their children. NCC has called on the government to find new ways to encourage more people to plan for the future and to get them to make a will through marketing and has also called for a review of current inheritance laws.

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