report provides robust data on attitudes to
will-making and what the law should be when people die without
making a will (intestacy).
Evidence from the study is being used by the Law Commission to review how inheritance law works for modern society. Despite changes to family structure and social attitudes to the family, the current rules on inheritance and intestacy are based on legal acts from 1925, and 1975.
This study was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and conducted in collaboration with Professor Gillian Douglas from Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University.
Potential policy impact
This study fed directly into the Law Commission's review of the rules to do with intestacy, which will result in the presentation of recommendations and a draft Bill to Parliament in 2011.
This was a mixed method study.
The quantitative element comprised a module of questions run on two
consecutive waves of the NatCen Omnibus Survey in 2009, the second
wave being used to boost the number of respondents in certain key
groups of interest.
The qualitative study involved 30 depth interviews with people who had taken part in the survey, purposively sampled in order to explore a range of views and attitudes in more detail.